Prison consultant sentenced to six years for defrauding BOP substance abuse treatment program


Date: December 10, 2021


Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Tony Tuan Pham, also known as "Anh Nguyen," of Grand Rapids, Michigan, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to 72 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for coaching federal inmates and prospective inmates, who would not otherwise require substance abuse treatment, how to lie to gain admission into a Federal Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") program that, if completed successfully, would result in a shortened prison term.

According to court documents and statements made in court, the Residential Drug Abuse Program ("RDAP") is a 500-hour substance abuse treatment program that is administered by the BOP. In order to gain admission to the RDAP, a federal inmate must meet certain criteria, including having a diagnosable and verifiable drug or alcohol abuse disorder. By successfully completing the RDAP, an inmate can qualify for up to 12 months in early release from custody.

Pham was a "Managing Partner" of Michigan-based RDAP Law Consultants, LLC. Pham, and others he supervised at RDAP Law Consultants, contacted federal criminal defendants and inmates through unsolicited emails and telephone calls with offers to assist, for a fee, those individuals in applying to, and qualifying for, the RDAP. Although Pham knew that many of the company's clients did not abuse alcohol or drugs and were ineligible for the RDAP, he coached them how to feign or exaggerate a drug or alcohol disorder, and to make false statements to the BOP so they could gain admission to the RDAP.

Between September 2012 and January 2019, RDAP Law Consultants earned at least $2,628,137 in client fees through this scheme.

Pham had recently been released from federal prison and was living in a residential reentry center ("halfway house") when the scheme began.

Pham was arrested on January 23, 2019. On December 4, 2019, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud.

Pham, who is released on a $100,000 bond, is required to report to prison on January 14, 2022.

This investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan N. Francis and Trial Attorney Avi Perry of the Department of Justice's Fraud Section.

Acting U.S. Attorney Boyle thanked the U.S. Attorney's Offices for the Southern District of West Virginia and the Western District of Michigan for their assistance in this matter.