July 8, 2014

In New York, a woman was sentenced to four years in state prison for purchasing weapons for a man who used the weapons to kill two people. She also faces significant prison time for federal charges.

lying on paperwork to buy guns
There are serious federal consequences for lying on paperwork to buy guns.

In 2010, Dawn Nguyen purchased a shotgun and a semiautomatic rifle for her neighbor, William Spengler, Jr. Spengler could not own a firearm because he was a convicted felon. Nguyen and Spengler went to a gun store together to buy the guns and Nguyen indicated on a firearms form that the weapons were for her. Spengler paid Nguyen $1,000 to buy the guns for her.1

On Christmas Eve 2012, Spengler set his house on fire. When first responders arrived at the scene, Spengler shot and killed two firefighters and wounded two others with the firearms purchased by Nguyen. Spengler then killed himself.2

New York law enforcement traced the weapons to Nguyen, who was charged with first-degree falsification of a business document. She was sentenced to four years in state prison. She also faces federal charges of illegally buying weapons by lying on a federal form, the unlawful use of marijuana and selling firearms to a convicted felon.3

Providing Firearms to a Convicted Felon (United States Code 18 Section 922(d))

Under U.S. Code 18 Section 922(d) it is illegal for any person to sell or dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reason to believe that the person:

  • Is under indictment or has been convicted of a felony;
  • Is a fugitive from justice;
  • Abuses any controlled substance;
  • Has been adjudicated as suffering from mental health issues;
  • Is an illegal alien or an alien admitted under a non-immigrant visa;
  • Has been dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces;
  • Has renounced his or her United States citizenship;
  • Is subject to a restraining order prohibiting harassing, stalking or threatening an intimate partner or child; or
  • Has been previously convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

A conviction for providing firearms to a convicted felon is punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison.

Lying on a Federal Form (United States Code 18 Section 1001)

Under U.S. Code 18 Section 1001, it is illegal to knowingly and willfully make any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative or judicial branch of the United States. A conviction for lying on a federal form is punishable by five to eight years in federal prison.

Providing Firearms to a Prohibited Person (California Penal Code Section 27500)

In the state of California, it is illegal to sell firearms to the following people:

  • Convicted felons;
  • Persons addicted to narcotics;
  • Persons with two or more convictions for brandishing a weapon under California Penal Code Section 417;
  • Persons convicted of certain misdemeanors;
  • Persons with mental illness; and
  • Persons under the age of 18.

Under California Penal Code Section 27500, it is illegal to sell, supply, deliver or give possession or control of a firearm to any prohibited person listed above. A conviction for providing firearms to a prohibited person is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in county jail under California Penal Code Section 27590, but is subject to increase given your criminal history.

Call the Federal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

federal defense attorney
Let our experienced federal defense attorneys help you with your case.

If you or a loved one is facing a charge of falsifying business documents or providing firearms to a convicted felon, it is critical that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience defending persons charged with such crimes. Our attorneys will work diligently and fight to get you the best possible outcome in your case.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich Southern California criminal defense attorney near you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.


1. [Woman tied to firefighter ambush sentenced to prison, May 18, 2014, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/19/nguyen-ny-firefighter-ambush-sentenced/9296141/]
2. [Id.]
3. [Id.]

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Author: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

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