FORMER BELLEVUE INSURANCE SALESMAN SENTENCED TO PRISON TERM FOR SECURITIES FRAUD
ROBERT YUN HYUN, 35 of Bellevue, Washington was sentenced today to 27 months in prison and three years of supervised release for five counts of Securities Fraud. HYUN pleaded guilty in April to defrauding clients claiming he had a confidential investment opportunity. At his sentencing in Seattle, Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik told HYUN that he wanted "to send the word out to others in your position, it isn't worth it. You'll pay the price."
According to court papers, HYUN worked as a financial representative for New England Financial (NEF), an affiliate of MetLife. Between July 2002, and August 2003, HYUN told clients and non-clients that he had a great investment opportunity for them to purchase shares of stock with a high rate of return. At times, HYUN claimed that MetLife and New England Financial were buying a bank and it would be profitable. HYUN told these potential investors that as a MetLife/NEF employee, he had the opportunity to invest in the bank acquisition before the shares went public. HYUN stated the investment was confidential and he had investors write checks directly to him. In fact, HYUN knew there was no bank acquisition and no opportunity to purchase stock. HYUN collected some $276,000 from numerous individuals that he used for his own benefit.
Additionally, HYUN admitted in his plea agreement that he used the identity of one of his clients to sell off financial products belonging to the client. The client and his wife had planned to use some $77,000 in these mutual funds for their children's education. Instead, HYUN pretended to be the client, sold off the funds and kept the proceeds for his own benefit. The total amount of fraud admitted by HYUN is $353,717.
HYUN's attorney had requested a shorter sentence in light of HYUN's compulsive gambling. But Chief Judge Lasnik noted that HYUN spent the money on many things other than gambling. Chief Judge Lasnik called the crime a "dastardly deed," saying HYUN lied to people and took advantage of their trust.
NEF reimbursed HYUN's clients for their misappropriated funds. HYUN was ordered to pay restitution to NEF.
The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Karyn Johnson.
For additional information contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington at (206) 553-4110.