A recent article on TBJ Now, through the The Business Journal, reports that a suspected con artist who had relocated to South Korea has now been escorted back to the US. Kwan Yong Choi, formerly of Fresno, was brought back to California by federal agents to face charges related to an alleged Ponzi scheme. In all, the Ponzi scheme is believed to have cheated investors out of about $2 million dollars.
Prosecutors allege that Choi lured investors in with false claims of high returns, charitable contributions, and affiliation with the CIA. Although investors were led to believe that their cash would go into secure investments that would also benefit the “International Christian Mission Center,” it is believed that Choi instead used investor cash to pay his own personal expenses and purchase personal vehicles and real estate. Choi is accused of sending false statements to investors and using the line of credit on his home to launder investor cash.
Clark Settles, a special agent for Homeland Security Investigations in San Francisco, said in a release that, “…the victims in this case received promises of hefty profits, but they were the ones who ended up paying the price, including some who lost their life savings. We owe it to them to seek justice in this case.”
According to US Attorney Benjamin Wagner, Choi will be facing six counts of money laundering related to the Ponzi scheme. If convicted, Choi could face up to 20 years in prison and over a million dollars in fines.
If you or a loved one has become the victim of a Ponzi scheme or investment scam, an experienced Ponzi scheme lawyer may be able to help. Contact us today.