Vinton restaurant owners charged - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Vinton restaurant owners charged

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -- The owners of the Peony restaurants in Vinton and Toledo have been charged with harboring illegal aliens, Medicaid fraud and tax fraud.

Chan Gia Duong, 43, and Phung Ca Long, 41, from Vinton, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to harbor aliens for commercial gain.  Duong faces an additional charge of filing a false tax return.  Long faces an additional charge of making false statements to Medicaid relating to health care.

The charges were filed on Wednesday in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids.

It's alleged that between October 2004 and November 2008, Duong and Long conspired to harbor multiple illegal aliens for commercial advantage and personal financial gain. Duong is also accused of providing the IRS with false information for his 2007 income.  Long is also charged with providing Iowa Medicaid with false information to gain health care benefits resulting in a loss of $28,156.40.

If convicted, Duong faces up to 13 years in prison, a $500,000 fine, $200 in special assessments, and up to 4 years of supervised release.  Duong would also have to pay costs of prosecution for the tax charge.

Long faces up to 15 years in prison, a $500,000 fine, $200 in special assessments, and up to 6 years of supervised release.

The United States government is also looking for the civil forfeiture of real and personal property of Duong and Long including real estate in Vinton, California, Florida, and Illinois, just over $750,000 in cash, two automobiles, and over 50 pieces of jewelry.

The civil cases will proceed separately from the criminal cases.

Neither Duong's or Long have had their first appearances in federal court yet.

Immigration and Cutoms Enforcement agents arrested four people at the Peony restaurants in Vinton and Toledo in November of 2008.

They arrested three men from Mexico and one from China.

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