Former California congressional candidate Tan Nguyen, who was convicted of lying to federal investigators looking into an alleged voter suppression operation back in 2006, was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison on Monday.
U.S. District Judge David O. Carter also ordered Nguyen to serve six months at a halfway house, according to a Justice Department news release.
The California Department of Justice was investigating numerous complaints from Latino voters in the 47th Congressional District in Orange County, which came after around 14,000 voters got a letter written in Spanish on letterhead that was similar to that of an anti-illegal immigration group, the California Coalition for Immigration Reform (which had nothing to do with the letter, said the feds). The flyers were allegedly sent to 14,000 households and warned that “emigrados” could go to jail for voting.
Federal prosecutors said that during an interview with investigators in October 2006, Nguyen falsely stated that campaign volunteers created the letter without his knowledge. Nguyen will begin serving his sentence before March 28.
“The Civil Rights Division is committed to protecting the voting rights of all individuals. We simply will not tolerate those who attempt to interfere with efforts to enforce civil rights laws in our nation,” Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement.