Home Washington Press Releases 2013 Eleven Defendants Plead Guilty to Federal Fraud Charges Related to Annandale Business

Eleven Defendants Plead Guilty to Federal Fraud Charges Related to Annandale Business

U.S. Attorney’s Office May 29, 2013
  • Eastern District of Virginia (703) 299-3700

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Between April 17 and May 29, 2013, 11 defendants have pleaded guilty to mortgage fraud and other fraud-related charges. This criminal activity involved the owners, operators, employees, and affiliates of several real estate-related businesses located in Annandale, Virginia, and nearby Northern Virginia towns.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the pleas were accepted by the following United States District Judges: Gerald Bruce Lee, Liam O’Grady, and Anthony J. Trenga.

“Rampant fraud in the real estate sector provided the catalyst for the 2008 housing crisis and continued fraud slows our economic recovery,” said United States Attorney, Neil H. MacBride. “My office is committed to ferreting out and prosecuting those in our Northern Virginia communities who commit fraud against banks and innocent third-parties during the course of real estate transactions. The conviction of these 11 defendants is proof-positive of our commitment to root out this kind of fraud within the borders of the Eastern District of Virginia.”

“These defendants have admitted to bilking millions of dollars from our financial institutions by falsely inflating costs of doing business while processing short sales, keeping payoffs from mortgages thought to have been refinanced, and illegally borrowing against escrow accounts of homeowners in Northern Virginia,” said Assistant Director in Charge Parlave. “These pleas should serve as an alert to those who believe fraud is an acceptable way of doing business. Together with our law enforcement partners, the FBI will remain vigilant in investigating mortgage fraud schemes and will hold individuals accountable for their illegal actions.”

Altogether, 11 individuals have been convicted in this fraud ring:

  • Theresa Choi, 53, of Centreville, Virginia, pleaded guilty on April 17, 2013, to one count of felony conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when she is sentenced on July 12, 2013.
  • Seung Oh, a/k/a Sandy Oh, 44, of Great Falls, Virginia, pleaded guilty on April 30, 2013, to one count of felony conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when she is sentenced on August 16, 2013.
  • Haemi Chee, 24, of Fairfax, Virginia, pleaded guilty on May 1, 2013, to one count of felony conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when she is sentenced on July 19, 2013.
  • Hae Mi Son, a/k/a Teri Sohn, 37, of Fairfax, Virginia, pleaded guilty on May 2, 2013, to one count of felony conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when she is sentenced on September 6, 2013.
  • Sung Hwan Kim, a/k/a Brian Kim, 47, of Fairfax, Virginia, pleaded guilty on May 9, 2013, to one count of felony conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on August 16, 2013.
  • James Youngmock Sohn, 55, of Potomac, Maryland, pleaded guilty on May 8, 2013, to one count of felony conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on August 16, 2013.
  • Joy Park, 37, of McLean, Virginia, pleaded guilty on May 10, 2013, to two counts of felony conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each count when she is sentenced on August 9, 2013.
  • Yeon Kyung Han, 52, of McLean, Virginia, pleaded guilty on May 15, 2013, to two counts of felony conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each count when she is sentenced on August 9, 2013.
  • Hee Jung Jenny Shin, 44, of Fairfax Station, Virginia, pleaded guilty on May 29, 2013, to one count of felony conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when she is sentenced on September 20, 2013.
  • Woo Suk Oh, a/k/a Eddie Oh, 41, of Annandale, Virginia, pleaded guilty on May 14, 2013, to one count of felony conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each count when he is sentenced on September 6, 2013.
  • Min Shik Kim, 40, of Centreville, Virginia, pleaded guilty on May 29, 2013 to one count of felony conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when she is sentenced on September 6, 2013.

According to court documents, many of these defendants were involved in overlapping conspiracies whereby they would alter the terms of real estate settlements that had been approved by financial institutions. Specifically, certain “overages,” or illegitimate, inflated costs were added to the settlement paperwork, which induced the real estate lender to provide funds above and beyond what was actually approved to fund the transaction. The conspirators would provide the lenders, buyers, and sellers falsified real estate documents to mask these illegal overages. The defendants who were involved in conspiracies of this kind enriched themselves by keeping the overage funds for themselves. In another part of the scheme, some of the defendants listed in these overlapping conspiracies laundered the proceeds of cash businesses to avoid paying federal and state taxes. Other defendants, in addition to the above schemes, misappropriated funds kept in real estate escrow accounts for their own personal use. Taken together, these multiple, overlapping conspiracies resulted in millions of dollars of losses to financial institutions, the federal government, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The defendants’ conspiracies lasted from approximately 2009 to 2012 in Annandale, Virginia, and other nearby Northern Virginia towns. The following companies were involved in perpetuating the fraud:

  • EPRO Technology
  • Title One
  • Pacific Realty
  • Prime Realty and Investment
  • Nations Title and Escrow
  • Providence Title
  • Potomac F&I
  • Washington Financial and Investment
  • Washington Settlement Group
  • Washington Food & Supply of D.C. Inc.

This case was investigated by FBI’s Washington Field Office with investigative assistance provided by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation’s Washington Office and United States Secret Service’s Washington Field Office. Assistant United States Attorney Chad I. Golder is prosecuting the cases on behalf of the United States.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.

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