by David M. Reutter
A guilty plea to conspiracy and wire fraud charges was entered in a Michigan federal district court on December 4, 2019, by Tony Tuan Pham, also known as Anh Nguyen, in his role of coaching prospective and current federal prisoners on how to qualify for the Residential Drug Abuse Program, a 500-hour residential substance abuse program, and receive a shortened sentence.
Pham, 50, a “Managing Partner” at Michigan-based RDAP Law Consultants, and those he supervised contacted federal criminal defendants and prisoners through unsolicited emails and telephone calls to assist them, for a fee, to qualify for the RDAP.
Despite knowing many of the clients did not abuse drugs or alcohol and were ineligible for the program, Pham coached them on how to feign or exaggerate a drug or alcohol disorder to gain entry to the program, which allows prisoners to qualify for up to 12 months early release.
The scheme earned RDAP Law Consultants $2,628,137 in client fees from September 2102 through January 2019. When the scheme began, Pham was living in a residential reentry center.
Pham was originally supposed to be sentenced in March 2020, but that was suspended until at least August.
As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.
Already a subscriber? Login
More from this issue:
- Coronavirus in Prison: The Cruel Reality, by Christopher Zoukis
- Survey of 8,000 Prisoners’ Political Views Finds Surprising Results, by David Reutter
- “Collateral Consequences” of Convictions Hinder Chances of Post-Prison Success, by Dale Chappell
- From the Editor, by Paul Wright
- How to Fail at Running a Prison During a Pandemic, by Anthony Accurso
- New Initiatives from Philadelphia, Koch Industries, Work to Get Ex-Offenders Jobs, by Anthony Accurso
- Medical Director of California Prison System Removed After Dubious Transfers Spike COVID-19 Counts, by Derek Gilna
- Judge Awards $273,246 Payment to New York Prisoner Beaten by Guard, by David Reutter
- Prison Postcards: “I feel as though I was either in a car accident or beaten by a baseball bat.”, by Ken Silverstein
- Utah State Auditor Finds Grave Deficiencies in Prisoner Placement Program, by Michael Fortino, Ph.D
- Justice Department and GEO Group Challenge California’s Ban on Private Prison and Detention Facilities, by Matthew Clarke
- Nevada Court Rules Prison Officials Withheld Evidence from Prisoner, by David Reutter
- U.S. District Court Says Rhode Island Department of Corrections Violated “Morris Rules”, by Douglas Ankney
- Injunction Orders Protection for Prisoner Witnesses in California Disability Lawsuit, by David Reutter
- Lockdowns Follow “Coordinated” Gang Fights at Oklahoma Prisons, by David Reutter
- Texas Execs Sentenced for Providing Bad Food to BOP, by Edward Lyon
- California Scrambled to Staff Wildfire Crews After Firefighting Prisoners Locked Down Due to COVID-19, by Dale Chappell
- Colorado Parole Board Cannot Confine Parolee Beyond Statutory Max, by Anthony Accurso
- Coronavirus Will Not Be Controlled in Country Until It Is Controlled in Prisons and Jails, by Michael D. Cohen, MD
- Prisoner Law Consultant in Michigan Pleads Guilty to Defrauding BOP, by David Reutter
- Interview: Jessica Sandoval of Unlock the Box on Solitary Confinement, by Ken Silverstein
- $5,400 Payout by Montana DOC Over Ex-Prisoner’s Claim of Religious, Gender Discrimination, by David Reutter
- Seventh Circuit: Transfer of Indiana Prisoner Based on Substance of Grievances Not Retaliatory, by David Reutter
- Captain at Jail Where Epstein Died Offered New Position of Authority; Warden Remains on Desk Duty, by Kevin Bliss
- $110,000 Settlement Reached in Ohio Prisoner’s Excessive Force Suit, by David Reutter
- Alabama DOC Report: Staff Beat, Hog-Tied, and Denied Medical Care to Fatally Injured Prisoner Seeking Help; Then Covered It Up, by Matthew Clarke
- New Study Documents Startling Spread of COVID-19 in American Prisons and Jails, by Sharon Dolovich, Brendan Saloner
- Commitment to New Jersey’s “Special Treatment Unit” a Potential Death Sentence, by Kevin Bliss
- Coronavirus Shuts Down Ramen Soup Plant; Prisoners in Michigan Limited on Purchase Amounts, by Dale Chappell
- Families Accuse Arkansas Prison of Poor Communication on COVID-19 Prisoners, by Kevin Bliss
- Sixth Circuit: Courts Must Construe Pro Se Notice of Appeal as Motion for Extension of Time to Appeal, by Dale Chappell
- Kansas Prison Dental Instructor Sentenced to 32 Months for Molesting Female Prisoner, by Matthew Clarke
- Michigan Prisoner’s Malicious Prosecution Claim Survives Summary Judgment, by David Reutter
- Oregon Court Holds Prison Litigation Reform Act Exhaustion Tolls Statute of Limitations, by Mark Wilson
- Book Review: The Habeas Citebook: Prosecutorial Misconduct Is an Invaluable Resource for Challenging Prosecutorial Misconduct, by Dale Chappell
- Bad Behavior: Key to Getting Promoted for Alabama Prison Officials, by Dale Chappell
- San Quentin Had Zero COVID-19 Cases Until California Officials Sent Infected Prisoners, Triggered Wildfire, by Douglas Ankney
- Due to Steps Taken by New Mexico Officials, Only Sex Offenders Present When Prison Overwhelmed by COVID-19, by Matthew Clarke
- Darren Rainey Died in Scalding Prison Shower Eight Years Ago Today, Still No Charges Filed, by Jessica Lipscomb
- $135,000 Settles Sexual Orientation Discrimination Suit by Former Michigan Prison Guard, by Matthew Clarke
- Harvard Prison Divestment Campaign Files Suit Seeking to Sever University’s Financial Ties With Prison Industrial Complex, by Douglas Ankney
- Eleventh Circuit Holds Trafficking Victims Protection Act Applies to CoreCivic “Voluntary Work Program”, by Matthew Clarke
- Alabama Says It Will Reform Prisons, the Nation’s Deadliest, by Bill Barton
- New York: Prisoner Kills Himself After Brutal Beating by Guards, by Chad Marks
- COVID-19 Causes Public Defenders to Change How They Handle Cases, by Dale Chappell
- $140,000 Settlement in Ohio Jail Beating, Retaliation Case, by David Reutter
- Jury Award $700,000 to Maryland Prisoner Assaulted by Guards, by Chad Marks
- IRS Blocks Prisoners from CARES Stimulus Checks, by Derek Gilna
- Seventh Circuit: Totality of the Circumstances Must be Considered to Show “Policy or Custom” by Government Agency Caused Injury for Monell Claim, by Dale Chappell
- Former Prisoners Are Running for Office In 2020, by Daniel A. Rosen
- $122,000 Payout as Utah Settles Suits Claiming Daggett County Jail Torture, by Dale Chappell
- Jewish Michigan Prisoners Win Injunction for Religious Sabbath and Holiday Meals, by David Reutter
- Texas Prison System Bans Greetings Cards, Postcards, Colored Paper in Mail, by Matthew Clarke
- News in Brief
More from David Reutter:
- “Missing” Texas Prisoner Prompts Lockdown, Dec. 1, 2023
- $26,500 in Settlements in Former California Prisoner’s Retaliation Lawsuits, Dec. 1, 2023
- NaphCare Nurse Faces Liability in Ohio Detainee’s Death from Sickle Cell Disease, Dec. 1, 2023
- $20,000 Paid to Florida Prisoner After Eleventh Circuit Finds PLRA Inapplicable to Claims DOC Removed to Federal Court, Dec. 1, 2023
- COVID-19 Consent Decree Terminated at Florida’s Broward County Jail, Dec. 1, 2023
- After SCOTUS Resolves Circuit Split, Maryland Guard Loses Appeal to Prisoner’s $700,000 Verdict, Dec. 1, 2023
- Fifth Circuit: 12-Hour Delay in Treating Texas Prisoner’s Stroke Wasn’t Deliberate Indifference, Dec. 1, 2023
- Seventh Circuit Revives Indiana Prisoner’s Claim Over Dismissed Grievance, Dec. 1, 2023
- Eleventh Circuit Says Florida Prisoner’s Dismissed Complaint Doesn’t Count as a “Strike”, Dec. 1, 2023
- New Jersey Prisoner’s Suit Survives Seeking to Validate the Nation of Gods and Earth as a Religion, Dec. 1, 2023
More from these topics:
- Prisoner Counselors STORMING California Prisons to Aid in Addiction Recovery, June 15, 2023. Drug Testing/Treatment Programs.
- CDCR’s Medication Assisted Treatment Program for Substance Abusers is a Resounding Success, Nov. 30, 2022. Drug Overdose, Drug Testing/Treatment Programs.
- Tenth Circuit: Where Defendant Actually Sentenced to Drug Treatment and Probation Rather Than 28-32 Months in Prison as Per State Sentencing Guidelines, Conviction Can’t Serve as Predicate ‘Felony’ for 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), March 15, 2022. U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, Firearms Owners' Protection Act, In Connection With Another Felony Offense, Drug Testing/Treatment Programs, Probation, Parole & Supervised Release.
- New York Jail Required to Provide Methadone to Detainee for Addiction Treatment, Feb. 1, 2022. Drug Addiction, Drug Testing/Treatment Programs.
- Missouri Supreme Court: IAC Where Guilty Plea Based on Counsel’s Assurance Defendant Eligible for Drug Treatment Program When, as Matter of Law, Ineligible, Nov. 15, 2021. Counsel - Effective Assistance of, Drug Testing/Treatment Programs.
- Seventh Circuit Exercises Supervisory Powers in Reversing District Court’s Judgment Revoking Supervised Release, April 15, 2021. Drug Testing/Treatment Programs, Sentence.
- Rhode Island Takes Uncommon Steps to Address a Common Problem: Drug Addiction in Prison, Sept. 1, 2020. Drug Testing/Treatment Programs, Deterrence/Recidivism.
- U.S. v. Manzella, No. 06-3434 (3rd Cir.) (475 F.3d 152) (February 2, 2007) (Judge Thomas L. Ambro), Jan. 1, 2007. Punch And Jurists, Drug Testing/Treatment Programs.
- Kuna v. Daniels, No. Civ. 02-526-HA (D.Or.) (234 F.Supp.2d 1168) (October 20, 2002) (Judge Ancer L. Haggerty), Feb. 1, 2003. Punch And Jurists, Drug Testing/Treatment Programs.
- Mitchell v. Andrews, No. CVF995551OWWGHB (E.D.Cal.) (235 F.Supp.2d 1085) (March 29, 2001) (Judge Oliver W. Wanger), Feb. 1, 2003. Punch And Jurists, Drug Testing/Treatment Programs.