Woman arrested for targeting Vietnamese speakers at DSHS offices arrested again

by: Amy Clancy Updated:

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SEATTLE —

KIRO 7 was the first to warn you about Oanh Nguyen. 

The native Vietnamese speaker was arrested in June for allegedly posing as a Department of Social and Health Services worker and scamming other Vietnamese speakers out of nearly $100,000 in cash. 

Now KIRO 7 has learned, the Seattle woman has been rearrested. 

According to a King County Sheriff’s Office incident report, the 39-year-old Nguyen has been calling her alleged victims of fraud and intimidating them. 

Click here to view KIRO 7's original story

The documents reveal some of Nguyen’s victims have moved because they’re afraid of her. 

It’s because of that alleged intimidation that Nguyen was arrested early Thursday for investigation of two counts of witness tampering and two counts of bribing a witness.

She waived her right to appear for her bail hearing in court on Friday where this time , the judge did not let Nguyen go on her own recognizance.  Instead, Judge Arthur Chapman ordered Nguyen held in lieu of $100,000 -- about the same amount Nguyen allegedly received by targeting Vietnamese-only speakers in recent months. 

According to the King County Sheriff’s Office, while posing as a DSHS worker, Nguyen convinced at least six people she met at various DSHS offices in Seattle to deposit fraudulent checks she wrote them into their accounts.  Those people then gave Nguyen cash, according to investigators.

It’s those same victims that Deputy King County Prosecutor Andrew Hamilton claims Nguyen is targeting again.  While arguing in court that Nguyen’s bail this time should be a high one, Hamilton said about Nguyen, “she further said that the people who were going to testify against her would not get paid what they were owed.  And one of the families lost $80,000.” 

Nguyen’s public defender argued that she wasn’t trying to bribe anyone; that Nguyen was just trying to pay back some of what she owed. 

If released from jail, Nguyen is banned from DSHS offices.  She’s also under investigation for welfare fraud, because DSHS Fraud Investigator Steve Lowe tells KIRO 7 Reporter Amy Clancy that Nguyen is receiving welfare benefits from the state herself.

Criminal felony charges against Nguyen may be filed as early as next week.

>>> Sheriff's message in Vietnamese about scam investigation