The former Cal State Fullerton employee under arrest for the fatal stabbing in the parking lot of College Park last year, has now been charged with embezzling money from the university by the Orange County District Attorney.
Kimberly Edds, the district attorney’s public information officer, confirmed that new charges of embezzlement in the case against Chris Chuyen Vo were related to his work at CSUF, where he worked in finance for the university’s Student Services and International Programs.
The new charges also came with a tag alleging that Vo killed Steven Shek Keung Chan in August 2019 for financial gain. Chan served as the director of budget and finance for Student Services and Extended Education before he retired in 2017. He returned as a consultant in 2019 to do a financial audit of Vo’s department.
Chan was fatally stabbed in his car at the College Park parking lot in August 2019, which spurred a manhunt that ended with Vo’s arrest at his residence in Huntington Beach. He has been held without bail since.
CSUF never publicly disclosed that Vo embezzled money from the university, although his department was under a financial audit led by Chan at the time of Chan’s death.
When asked for comment, Danny Kim, the chief financial officer for the university, redirected reporters to university spokesman Chi-Chung Keung, who said the university declined to comment as it is an “ongoing case.”
The university’s administration also came under criticism last year when news came out that Vo returned to campus in the days following Chan’s death, which was never announced campus-wide and was briefly discussed in a meeting of the academic senate.
The new charges were added at Vo’s eighth pre-trial in September, when the DA also confirmed they would not be seeking the death penalty moving forward. In addition to grand theft by embezzlement, Vo is also charged with first-degree murder. If convicted on all charges, he could face 25 years to life in prison.
Vo has been awaiting trial in a county jail for over a year now. During his time at the central jailhouse, he was temporarily held in mental health housing prior to his transfer to the Theo Lacy Facility, a maximum security jail complex in the city of Orange.
Vo is currently set for another pre-trial on Dec. 11 and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Jan. 15, 2021 at the Santa Ana Central Justice Center. Vo is represented by T. Edward Welbourne, a partner at the Corrigan Welbourne Stokke law firm, who did not return multiple requests for comment on this case.
Last week, the Daily Titan filed a public records request for any information related to the audit Chan was performing prior to his death. Under public records law, university officials have until Oct. 14 to release the records, or release a statement justifying why they will not make them public.