Pleasanton: Decade later, South Korea man pleads guilty for role in $60M scam

Co-conspirator from Blackhawk convicted in 2010 for 'classic Ponzi scheme'

A South Korean citizen who was extradited 10 years after being charged in a $60 million investment fraud based in Pleasanton is due to be sentenced in federal court in Oakland Nov. 19 for his role in the scam.

Jin Chung, 56, of Seoul and formerly of Los Altos, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White on Sept. 3 to one count of laundering money by depositing $520,000 gained by fraud into his personal bank account in August 2008.

Chung admitted during the guilty plea that the currency exchange trading investment scheme conducted from a Pleasanton office by Chung and a partner, Peter Son, caused more than 400 victims to lose $60,300,000, according to U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Abraham Simmons.

Most of the victims were Korean-Americans or Koreans living in California or South Korea, prosecutors said.

A pair of investment companies run by the two men closed abruptly in October 2008. Chung was in South Korea at the time and was extradited in February of this year.

Chung was originally charged along with Son in 2009 with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The charge was revised to a money laundering count this year. Chung faces a possible maximum sentence of 10 years in prison at his Nov. 19 sentencing by White.

Son, 47, who formerly lived in the gated Blackhawk community, pleaded guilty in 2010 to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money gained by fraud. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

In court papers, prosecutors said Son and Chung promised investment returns of up to 36% per year and conducted "a classic Ponzi scheme"

— Bay City News Service

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4 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of another community
on Sep 14, 2019 at 1:31 pm

Throw the book at the greedy SOB. Promising investment returns of up to 36% per year is a red flag. Wise up.

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