Phan gets more time to stay out of prison


The federal court has extended up to Nov. 5 the period of time when businessman David Trung Quoc Phan is allowed to remain free despite his recent conviction.

This developed as Phan hired Stephen Woodruff as his new counsel in his appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court. Phan is appealing his conviction for two counts of mail fraud, three counts of fraud in foreign labor contracting, and one count of fraud and misuse of visas and permits.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona extended Phan’s release because the U.S. Probation Office confirmed that defendant has been in compliance with the terms of his release.

Manglona also noted that assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe, counsel for the U.S. government, said at a status conference last Friday that Phan is not a flight risk.

During Friday’s hearing, Phan, who appeared without a lawyer, informed the court that he anticipates filing a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court.

The defendant argued that his deadline to file that petition is Nov. 4, 2019. He asked the court to continue the status conference to allow him to perfect his appeal with the assistance of new lawyer, Woodruff.

Daniel Guidotti used to be Phan’s counsel in his appeal. David J. Lujan substituted Guidotti, then Clyde Lemons later substituted Lujan.

Manglona continued the status conference to Nov. 5, 2019.

A federal jury convicted Phan on Oct. 18, 2017. The court sentenced him to eight months of imprisonment, and two years of supervised release.

Phan appealed his conviction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He also moved for his temporary release pending a decision by the Ninth Circuit on his appeal. The District Court granted Phan’s motion for temporary release last May 2.

Last June 18, the Ninth Circuit affirmed Phan’s conviction over his role in a scheme to bring Bangladeshi men to Saipan on promises of jobs and green cards in exchange for cash.

That judgment took effect last Aug. 14 when the Ninth Circuit issued the mandate.

Consequently, Manglona set a status conference for last Friday, Oct. 4, to address Phan’s self-surrender.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at
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