News and Press Releases

Member of large scale identity theft ring sentenced to two years in prison for role in fraud enterprise



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 31, 2012


 

NEWARK, N.J. – A Bergen County man who fraudulently established credit scores for co-conspirators in a criminal enterprise and helped others fraudulently obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars in commercial loans was sentenced today to 24 months in prison, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Ho K. Yu, a/k/a “Edmund,” 60, of Tenafly, N.J. –– previously pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz to an Information charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting financial institutions. U.S. District Judge Katherine S. Hayden imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in is case and statements made in court:

Yu was part of a fraud ring that engaged in identity theft and financial crimes which have led to charges against 54 individuals. Yu admitted his role in three separate conspiracies, including that from 2001 through 2002, he conspired with others to fraudulently obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars in small business loans for unqualified borrowers. Yu and his co-conspirators submitted false loan applications and supporting documents to a lender. The vast majority of these loans defaulted, resulting in significant losses to the lender.

Yu also admitted that between 2006 and January 2009 he conspired with others to obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal business loans for unqualified borrowers. Yu and a co-conspirator manufactured false tax returns and W-2 forms and submitted them with bogus loans applications to lenders. The vast majority of these loans defaulted, resulting in significant losses to the lenders.

Finally, Yu admitted that he conspired with Sang-Hyun Park, a/k/a “Jimmy,” who was the leader of a criminal organization (the “Park Criminal Enterprise”) headquartered in Bergen County, by fraudulently building credit scores for Park’s customers. The Park Criminal Enterprise obtained Social Security cards beginning with the prefix “586,” which were issued by the United States to individuals, usually from China, who were employed in American territories, such as American Samoa, Guam, and Saipan. The Park Criminal Enterprise sold the cards to its customers and then escorted the customers to various states to use them to obtain identification cards and driver’s licenses. The Park Criminal Enterprise then engaged in the fraudulent “build up” of credit scores associated with these fraudulently obtained identities. Yu acknowledged that he received approximately $500 in cash for each identity he added to his accounts. In total, Yu and his co-conspirators caused in excess of $2.5 million in losses to banks, credit card companies, and other lenders.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Hayden sentenced Yu to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $3,400,412 in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special
Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark; IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction
of Acting Special Agent in Charge JoAnn S. Zuniga; the Department of Homeland Security’s
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Andrew M. McLees; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. – Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Inspector General Jon T. Rymer; and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor John L. Molinelli and the Office’s Chief of Detectives Steven Cucciniello for their work leading to today’s guilty pleas.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Anthony Moscato of the Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.

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Defense counsel: Robert G. Stahl Esq., Westfield, N.J.

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