Con artist faces federal charges

FRESNO — A Modesto man convicted two years ago in Stanislaus County for swindling $208,000 in a fraud scheme faces a 30-count federal indictment on charges of wire fraud and criminal forfeiture, the U.S. attorney's office announced Friday.

Tony Huy Havens, 36, targeted victims in at least eight states who were seeking multimillion dollar loans for large construction projects that were in danger of foreclosure, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner.

Federal prosecutors said Havens gave the victims fraudulent documents that showed a third-party lender was prepared to give them a loan.

Havens then instructed the victims to wire transfer the money into his bank account to pay in advance certain costs associated with the loans.

The loans never were made.

In total, Havens promised he could arrange at least $1.1 billion in financing for at least 15 victims, and collected at least $248,750 in wired transfers, the prosecutors said.

Havens faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for each count. The case against Havens is the result of an extensive, joint investigation by the FBI and the Stanislaus County district attorney's office.

In September 2008 in Stanislaus County, Havens was convicted of 14 felonies for defrauding two victims, including former Manteca Mayor Frank Warren. He was sentenced to five years and four months in state prison.

In 2003, Havens was convicted of impersonating a notary public and illegal possession of a martial arts throwing star.

Havens managed the Sin City nightclub in downtown Modesto before it closed in October 2007 after City Council members revoked its dance permit.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at or 578-2394.