This post has been corrected. Please see note at bottom for details.
FBI agents arrested a Little Saigon businessman and a Westminster police officer early Friday, accusing the entrepreneur of running a loan shark operation and the officer of working as his "enforcer."
Kevin Khanh Tuan Do, who owns Do Design & Construction, allegedly worked with Anthony Duong Donner, a six-year patrol officer for the Westminster police. Donner was arrested when he showed up for work Friday.
A 39-page FBI affidavit said the two lived together in Fountain Valley while masterminding illegal activities. The OC Weekly first reported the arrests.
In 2011, Do lent $170,000 to a woman who wanted to open a Garden Grove coffee shop and a lounge in neighboring Westminster, charging her 5% interest per month, along with an annual interest rate of 60%, the FBI said.
Do, 38, allegedly directed Donner, 29, to collect payments from the customer and told the woman that if she didn't pay that the police would "interfere with her business" and cite her for driving under the influence, even if she wasn't drinking, said FBI Special Agent Joseph Paul Nieblas.
The woman told officials she was afraid of Do, and that officers working for Do "interfered with her business with patrol cars, doing car stops on employees after work, and entering the business to intimidate customers," Nieblas said.
Wiretaps enabled FBI agents to monitor Do's use of "local law-enforcement officials, including Donner, to intimidate payment" from the woman, the affidavit said.
Westminster police participated in the FBI probe, says police Chief Kevin Baker. "Without their resources, we would not be able to bring this officer to justice," he said, adding that Donner was arrested at the police station Friday.
The police chief said an administration investigation will be conducted with the department He said he's concerned there may be other immigrant victims, perhaps afraid to come forward.
Donner, once an intern with the Westminster police, had been assigned to patrol the east side of the city, an area that includes Little Saigon, Baker said.
The officer is Vietnamese American, is fluent in Vietnamese and familiar with immigrant culture. He graduated from the Golden West Police Academy in 2007, quickly getting signed by Westminster police recruiters, and he earned honors for exemplary public service in 2007 and 2010.
Donner, interviewed by FBI agents earlier this month, admitted that he collected money for Do "on several occasions" while in uniform during his work shift, according to the affidavit.
As Do worked the streets on loan shark business, Donner also served as his "lookout," according to the affidavit, letting him know when other officers were nearby.
[For the Record, Sept. 5, 7:20 p.m.: In an earlier version of this post, the victim of an alleged loan shark case was incorrectly identified as the owner of Ocean Blue restaurant. One of the suspects in the case went to the Ocean Blue restaurant to confront the victim, according to an FBI affidavit.]
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