Ten Fairfax County residents plead guilty to mortgage scam -- Gazette.Net


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Ten Fairfax County residents have pleaded guilty in federal court to mortgage fraud and other fraud charges that involved “overages” or illegitimate, inflated costs added to real estate transactions that induced lenders to provide funds above and beyond what was actually approved to fund the transaction.

According to court documents, eleven conspirators—10 from Fairfax County and one from Potomac, Md.— provided lenders, buyers, and sellers falsified real estate documents to mask their falsified overages.

“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 Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

According to Parlave, the 11 defendants involved in the conspiracies “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,” she said. “And 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.”

Court documents state the defendants’ conspiracies lasted from approximately 2009 to 2012, and involved the owners, operators, employees, and affiliates of several real estate-related businesses located in Annandale and other nearby Northern Virginia towns.

According to the Department of Justice, all 11 defendants have pleaded guilty to mortgage fraud and other fraud-related charges.

The defendants who have pleaded guilty are as follows:

•Theresa Choi, 53, of Centreville, 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, 44, of Great Falls, 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, 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, 37, of Fairfax, 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, 47, of Fairfax, 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, Md, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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 Sept. 6, 2013.

gmacdonald@fairfaxtimes.com