SEATTLE — A 45-year-old Washington man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to hiring a “hit man” to kill several people in Vietnam, including a nephew who had spent $100,000 he had sent him despite instructions to spend only the interest earned by the money.
Long Van Nguyen, who lives in University Place, thought he was hiring a professional assassin to carry out the killings when, in fact, he was dealing with undercover federal agents, U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said.
According to the plea agreement signed Thursday, Nguyen admitted that in March 2012 he tried to hire an undercover U.S. Homeland Security agent to kill people in Vietnam.
“Nguyen told others that he had sent $100,000 to a nephew in Vietnam, instructing him to spend only the interest earned by the money,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “Instead, the nephew spent all the money so Nguyen wanted him killed. The undercover agent told Nguyen he had associates in Vietnam who could do the killings. Nguyen agreed to a plan whereby his nephew ‘Bon’ would show the ‘assassins’ who Nguyen wanted killed.
“After identifying two proposed victims, Nguyen then instructed the undercover agent that he wanted the nephew ‘Bon’ killed as well. A police officer in Vietnam, as well as an undercover FBI agent posed as possible assassins in the scheme. Nguyen paid the undercover FBI agent additional money for the hit, and added four more people to the list of those he wanted killed.,” the office said.
Nguyen was arrested at his home on July 7, 2012, and has been in custody ever since.
Under a plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to recommend no more than 14 years in prison when Nguyen is sentenced on Jan. 10.