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Press Release

Korean National Sentenced for “Bust Out” Bank Fraud Scheme in Sacramento Area and Elsewhere

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Ki Jang, 60, of Los Angeles, was sentenced today to 21 months in prison for conspiring to commit bank fraud, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, between January 2017 and September 2017, Jang participated in a nationwide check kiting “bust out” scheme in order to obtain cash from banks. The scheme’s participants obtained a real Republic of Korea passport that was altered to bear a new photograph and name, which they used to open bank accounts with a small amount of cash. The accounts were dormant until a time the participants believed the bank would allow the account holder to deposit a check and make withdrawals before the check actually cleared. At that time, the participants wrote checks from a different bank account with non-sufficient funds, deposited those checks into the dormant account, and then withdrew cash from the dormant account before the checks cleared. The participants would access funds by purchasing a money order and then depositing the money order into yet another bank account associated with the scheme.

The bust-out scheme resulted in an actual loss of $273,800 to the banks, and a total intended loss of $466,318 based on additional, unsuccessful bust-out attempts.

Korean nationals Hee Soung Oh, 47; Jong Eun Lee, 48; and Kyung Min Kong, 55, were previously sentenced: Oh to two years and nine months, Lee to 22 months, and Kong to seven years and nine months in prison. Charges are pending against Bon Soke Hong, who was indicted on Oct. 21, 2021. The charges are only allegations; he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is the product of an investigation by the IRS Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Audrey B. Hemesath and Whitnee Goins are prosecuting the case.

Updated February 29, 2024

Financial Fraud