Hard Time in Prison for Tom Vu?

Tuan 'Tommy' Vu at the 2005 WSOPOver and over again, people on forums and blogs seem to assume that one-time real estate guru Tom Vu spent time in prison, supposedly for fraud related to his infomercials and seminars. I have never seen any solid evidence that this is the case.

I distinctly remember a report in the early 1990s that Vu was being investigated by the Florida attorney general. Vu pulled his infomercials during this investigation and never aired them again. But I have never seen any credible report that Vu was ever formally charged with a crime, much less convicted and sent to prison.

It was also widely reported that many of the “graduates” of Vu’s seminars were upset with Vu. The main point of contention was that Vu promised to provide them with money if they found any good real estate deals, and they claimed that he never came through on that promise. These people had hired attorneys and were at least considering filing suit. But I do not know if any lawsuit was ever filed, if it ever went to trial, or if there was an out of court settlement. And, in any case, civil lawsuits do not result in prison time.

I think because of the investigation, the accusations of disgruntled graduates, the sudden disappearance of the Tom Vu infomercials from the airwaves, and the conviction of other real estate gurus such as William McCorkle, people just assume that Vu must have been convicted and done time. If anyone has any solid evidence of what ever happened to Tom Vu in regards to criminal or civil wrong-doing I would honestly appreciate seeing it.

Whatever may have happened to Tom Vu in the past, he is certainly not in prison now. Tuan “Tommy” Vu is a top poker player who entered the 2005 World Series of Poker and came in 22nd place, earning over $300,000.


  • 30 Responses to “Hard Time in Prison for Tom Vu?”

  • Tommy is now Tommy Voo and selling his schemes in Las Vegas every Monday and Thursday nights. He is now selling condos on the strip and high priced houses and if you find someone so that he can use their credit to buy said properties with, he will pay you $2000 to $5000 as a finder’s fee.

    Comment by Sandy on March 6, 2007 at 8:01 pm

  • I think you are gettin Tom Vu confused with another Floridian with real estate infomercials, William McCorkle. William McCorkle was charged, tried, convicted, and serving time.

    Comment by Trooper on June 29, 2007 at 6:04 am

  • Did you actually read my post? You know, the one located a few inches above?

    Comment by Paul Lucas on June 29, 2007 at 8:51 am

  • I think your getting him confused with Ben Dover or the famous Chinese female Lawyer Sue Me

    Comment by Jim Nasium on July 20, 2007 at 11:30 pm

  • Lol at Jim Nasium’s comment.

    Comment by Anvil on September 20, 2007 at 4:15 pm

  • Great post! I’ve done extensive research on what happened to Tom Vu in the 90’s Most of it is rumour, nobody has yet to present cold hard facts. Similar to you, I too would like to know what happened to him and if he ever went to court or even jail. I would doubt jail, someone would have spilled the beans in the 90’s to gain some money off one of the grocery store mags.

    He was a character. There was something so simple and childlike about him that you wanted to keep on watching his info-commercial to not only see the yacht’s, the cars, the women and the houses, but you really were waiting for him to tell you his ‘secret’. His secret is well known and not that profound, but he does speak the truth on that aspect of his marketing.

    He was a man ahead of his time.

    He will forever be remembered in the minds of us late night TV watching boomers, good or bad.

    Thanks and all the best!

    Comment by Mark Argentino on December 7, 2007 at 11:30 am

  • Tommy Vu is da man. Loved his quotes and his babes!! Favorite quote “Don’t listen to your friends… they’re losers!”

    Comment by dave on February 25, 2008 at 2:26 pm

  • My favorite quote from Tom Vu is:
    “A lot of your friends will tell you, ‘Don’t come to the seminar. It’s a get-rich-quick plan.’ Well, tell them, it is a get-rich-quick plan because life is too short to get rich slow.”

    Comment by KennyKenKen on March 11, 2008 at 12:23 am

  • For the record, he did not go to jail. The lawsuit was instigated by one disgruntled student who hired a law firm who saw an opportunity to file a class action.
    Upon discovery, it was determined all Tom Vu said, he did, including buying and owning, and selling many,many properties around the US,including many mansions.

    Comment by Anonymous on March 27, 2008 at 8:29 pm

  • I’m curious about the names of some of the women in his videos. They all looked really great. I loved the way it wasn’t taboo for women back then to be a little more full-figured and not so skinny. None of his models had implants, either. And the cuts on those bikinis looked awesome. Please advise!

    Comment by Will on February 18, 2009 at 12:12 am

  • i was a grad of tom vu. he did buy a deal from me for 3000.00$ before the class ended. after the class my first deal in atlanta i bought a smalll buss foreclouser(forgive my spelling). the house sold in 1988 for 332000.00 i bought it for 148000.00. then rolled my closing cost in to the loan for a total of 152000.00. in 1990. i sold it in 1994 for 290000.00.however i was contacted by the floridas att gen. But what could i say they didnt like my story of succsess and was never contacted again. the thing nobody talks about is tom tell the students that only small % will make it work.because that is what it is work. respectfully jim kelly

    Comment by jim kelly on January 16, 2010 at 8:25 am

  • Thank you Jim Kelly for the details-the infomercials are & were interesting. All & all-the guy is a character. Hopefully people got out of the real estate bubble before the implosion-but since these info-mercials stopped in the early ’90’s-it seems as if there is a good chance that the “seminar graduates” could have made money far before the recent big bust.

    Good Article!

    Comment by Thank You Jim Kelly on February 9, 2010 at 5:29 pm

  • this guy is my uncle. and no he didn’t go to jail. morons.

    Comment by Matt on November 20, 2010 at 8:21 pm

  • I lived with Tuan for many years in the 70s. He read just about every “how I made Millions” books ever made. I used to play chess with him every day and one day he quit and told me “I don’t make money playing chess”. Matt, I would love to chat with Tuan again.

    Comment by Skip on March 24, 2011 at 10:45 am

  • He’s a con man end of story. Get real.

    Comment by Wayne on June 27, 2011 at 7:15 pm

  • I’m surprised he didn’t figure out how to make money playing chess, unless chess tournaments didn’t exist in the 70s.

    Comment by BOTR on January 15, 2012 at 10:00 am

  • Has everybody seen the King of the Hill episode parodying him?

    Comment by Steve on August 4, 2012 at 4:25 am

  • Tom Vu is now a professional poker player. A pretty good one too, apparently. Check out his wikipedia page

    Comment by dave on September 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm

  • I worked for this guy for a few months in the late 1980s. As far as I could tell, he preferred Asian women (not blondes!). And there was big money in real estate, but even bigger money in seminars and course materials.

    One of the women in those videos – a blonde – worked in the office while I worked there. Her name was Nancy. The rest were models, I guess.

    Comment by Darth J on May 27, 2013 at 11:59 am

  • I attended a seminar probably in 1990 … for about the first ten minutes, before I walked out laughing. And the speaker was not even Tom. His ‘Englis’ was as comedic as the much believable 2500 tuition. But what entertainment the late nite reruns which were what nudged my curiosity. But certainly he’s ahead of his time if poker’s made him
    what, a millionnaire yet again?

    Comment by Ellie on December 16, 2013 at 12:51 am

  • Tom is a peice of crap scammer. He was sued for alot of money. he made money off his seminars, little on real estate.

    Comment by joe on May 24, 2014 at 11:41 am

  • I went to a Tom Vu seminar, and I found out his secret. It simply was to take advantage of folks who were down on their luck in a real estate position. The secret was, to make them feel as if you were doing them a favor in “helping” them out of their negative situation. I learned how unkind people could be for money that day.

    Comment by GMan on October 18, 2014 at 5:48 pm

  • // this guy is my uncle. and no he didn’t go to jail. morons. //

    I think your uncle was more polite than you, Matt. Maybe he found out that people don’t like being called “morons”, especially if they aren’t.

    PS – Even some morons know how to use capital letters where needed.

    Comment by Li Pat on February 2, 2015 at 4:00 pm

  • Tom Vu smells like poo

    Comment by James Madrein on May 18, 2016 at 7:12 am

  • The implicit message of his ads was:
    If a tiny little squirt like me, who hasn’t even got full command of English, can be living this Hugh Hefner wet-dream of a lifestyle, imagine what YOU, you virile American, with your big American penis, could be doing — if only you knew what I know.
    Now give me your money.
    The man is a certified genius, and deserves every penny he made.
    God bless Tom Vu, God bless America, and God bless you.

    Comment by smartalek on June 5, 2016 at 10:46 am

  • Oh, forgot to mention —
    Clearly, on his lowest day, Tom Vu is a more honorable man, with greater integrity, than Donald Trump on his best day.
    Trump’s the one giving guys like Tom Vu a bad name.

    Comment by smartalek on June 5, 2016 at 10:48 am

  • if he should go to jail for this? what about the donald?

    Comment by dave on June 8, 2016 at 1:52 pm

  • He is a hero for me.

    Don’t mind that naysayers …
    “…. look at them from head to toe …
    if they are NOTHING – stay away from them!”

    There are three phrases to handle folks like this!

    “You are LOSER – GET OUT OF MY WAY – I’ll make it somehow!”

    Comment by dachrinne on June 22, 2016 at 5:26 pm

  • Well, ‘The Donald’ became The President of the United States of America. He got his wealth from his father who used was a slumlord. Tom Vu sold courses of how to invest in Real Estate that really didn’t work. Jordan Belfort sold shares in fake companies. Ultimately those who ‘get-rich-quick’ didn’t make their money legitimately. A fool and his money are soon parted. These guys preyed on the weak because it takes brass balls to sell real estate.

    Comment by James Harkin on August 10, 2017 at 6:13 pm

  • Tom Vu is a big fan of professional wrestler Tom Zenk. Vu steadfastly maintains the Z-Man was main event, championship material and was under utilized by every promotion he worked.

    Comment by MrPiledriver on October 15, 2017 at 4:37 pm