By Kelsey Durham
Seven people are facing charges in connection with two separate fraud rings they allegedly participated in throughout northeast Queens over the past two years, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said last week.
The DA’s office announced May 22 that a handful of men were indicted for their alleged roles in the pair of schemes operated out of Flushing and Bayside dating back to 2012. Six have been arrested while the seventh defendant, Ki Bin Lim, was still being sought by police, according to the DA’s office.
A 73-count indictment released last week said four defendants — Fresh Meadows residents Joung Duck Woo, 45, and Ki Bin Lim, 52, and Flushing residents Ki Hun Kim, 45, and Sang Moon, 59 — allegedly agreed to help four victims from Woo’s church, who spoke little or no English, purchase cars in their names and then stole personal information, such as Social Security numbers, to finance seven luxury vehicles and open credit cards in their names.
Woo worked as an automobile broker during the 24-month investigation into the fraud rings and allegedly led the other men through the scheme to finance a total of $391,404.71 in stolen property, the DA said.
All four defendants were charged with various counts of falsifying business records, identity theft, forgery, scheme to defraud, grand larceny and second- and criminal possession of stolen property. The four men each face up to 15 years in prison, if convicted, Brown’s office said.
A separate indictment in relation to the second fraud ring states that three defendants allegedly participated in a credit card scam by obtaining Social Security numbers beginning with 586, which were typically assigned to Chinese nationals in the 1990s, and using false names to open bank accounts and credit cards, the DA’s office said.
Jinuk Chong, 24, of Fresh Meadows; Kyeong Joon Kim, 53, of Flushing; and Dong Soo Kim, 60, of Flushing, are each charged in a 20-count indictment with first-degree falsifying business records, second-degree forgery, first-degree scheme to defraud and third- and fourth-degree grand larceny and each faces up to seven years in prison, if convicted.
Soo Kim was additionally charged with grand larceny, forgery, criminal possession of a forged instrument and criminal possession of forgery devices after the NYPD’s Identity Theft squad, which carried out the investigation, allegedly found forged Korean passports, forged U.S. visas and forgery materials such as stamps, laminates, paper and seals at his home.
Reach reporter Kelsey Durham at 718-260-4573 or by e-mail at email@example.com.