His nephew spent all the money instead of saving it, so Long Van Nguyen hired a hit man. At least he thought he hired a hit man.
The price of mistaken identity: 14 years in federal prison. U.S. District Court Judge Robert Lasnik announced the sentence Friday.
Up until July 2012, Nguyen, 48, lived in University Place. His spendthrift nephew, who blew through $100,000, lived in Vietnam. Nguyen was mad. He found the hit man.
The hit man claimed to have associates in Vietnam who could handle the job. Nguyen wanted four more people targeted for death. He would pay extra for that. The hit man said it was no problem. Nguyen paid, and provided photos of the targets.
The hit man was a federal agent. The pose was a ruse. The payment sealed the crime.
The arrest came on July 7, 2012. The charges: conspiracy to kill persons in a foreign county and solicitation to commit a crime of violence.
“Nguyen was adamant he wanted these people dead,” said Brad Bench, special agent in charge of Seattle’s Homeland Security Investigations branch. “HSI and Vietnamese authorities had to act fast to save lives.”