Woman arraigned in one embezzlement case, taken into custody for another

Aimee Ambrose
York Dispatch

A woman accused of embezzling nearly $1 million from her employer in York County was taken into custody Tuesday to face similar allegations in Maryland.

Phuong Nguyen-Davis, 56, is charged locally with a felony count of theft and 19 counts of illegal access of devices.

Hellam Township investigators allege she stole more than $915,000 from Advanced Fluid Systems Inc. while she worked there in accounts payable/human resources from January 2017 through May of this year.

She allegedly funneled money to herself by charging company credit cards, including several she opened without permission, to an online business she set up called “D&G Serviced.” She’d then pay off the credit card bills with funds from her employer, according to police in charging documents.

Investigators uncovered transactions that included flights, car leases, appliances, groceries, medical appointments and apparently home electric bills, charging documents show.

Phuong Nguyen-Davis from 2014

Nguyen-Davis left AFS close to Memorial Day, shortly before company managers reported allegations to police.

She was then hired about a month later as a business manager at company called Aerolab in Jessup, Maryland. A few weeks in, the aerospace company’s CEO alleged he uncovered embezzlement.

Hareen Aparakakankanage told The York Dispatch in September that he found fraudulent charges to a company card, including transactions to a PayPal account under the name of “Davis Photography.”

When he confronted Nguyen-Davis about the charges and sought to settle the balance one day, Aparakakankanage said she exited the company and left $1,000 in cash behind for him.

He estimated Aerolab lost between $12,000 and $14,000 from the alleged fraud.

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Aparakakankanage also reported his allegations to Howard County, Maryland, police.

Charges were filed following an investigation, and a warrant was issued. The charges wouldn’t be officially applied and become public until the warrant was served, according to police.

Nguyen-Davis was arraigned into the York County Court of Common Pleas on the charges from the AFS investigation Tuesday.

Judge Kathleen Prendergast scheduled the next hearing for Jan. 30.

Nguyen-Davis asked for more time, saying she intends to retain her attorney but needs to come up with cash to afford his fees.

Prendergast didn’t change the date and suggested Nguyen-Davis could seek a public defender until she can afford private counsel.

She was free on a supervised bail when she appeared at the hearing, then court security took her into custody as they served the warrant out of Howard County, which will act as a detainer in the Aerolab case.

Nguyen-Davis pleaded guilty to charges in three prior theft cases and was sentenced in March 2014. The term called for 21 months to three and a half years in York County Prison, followed by eight years of probation, court documents show.

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She was accused of embezzling money and forging checks while she worked at Keystone Certifications Inc., Weaver and Sons Excavation, and Jacoby Plumbing.

Records indicate Nguyen-Davis also was ordered to pay restitution totaling $164,522 from those three cases.

A cost contempt case on the restitution was filed in 2019, and a hearing in that case is scheduled for Dec. 16, court records show.

— Reach Aimee Ambrose at aambrose@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.