NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nearly two years after NewsChannel 5 Investigates first exposed a fraudulent license scheme involving dozens of state cosmetology licenses, the man at the center of it all has been found guilty after a state disciplinary hearing of selling those licenses.
NewsChannel 5 first told you how Vietnamese immigrants with little to no experience managed to get licenses from the state to do manicures, cut hair and give facials.
They all said they'd bought those licenses from Lee Phan, the owner of a Green Hills salon, paying anywhere from $2,000 to $6,500 apiece.
The state took action against him in May 2014 and the judge's ruling from that disciplinary hearing was finally released Tuesday. In it, she called what Phan did "reprehensible" and ordered his own license revoked.
Additionally, he will also be fined $20,000.
During his hearing, Phan repeatedly took the 5th, refusing to answer questions about how he managed to get those licenses. Sources told NewsChannel 5 Investigates it's long been suspected that Phan was working with a now former state employee.
The Davidson County District Attorney called for an investigation from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation after NewsChannel 5 Investigates first exposed the problem.
The criminal investigation is continuing.