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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Former Internal Revenue Service Agent Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Identity Theft and Making False Statements During Security Background Investigation

Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Bryan Cho, a former Special Agent with the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (“IRS-CI”), was sentenced by United States District Judge Ann M. Donnelly to 30 months’ imprisonment for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with a scheme to create false identification documents and passports using the stolen identity of the former subject of an IRS-CI investigation.  Additionally, the defendant forfeited $394,374.63 as part of the plea agreement.  Cho pleaded guilty to the charges in June 2021.  Cho’s employment was terminated since his arrest.

Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the sentence.

“The defendant’s fraud and corruption extended to creating an entirely false identity by stealing information he obtained while conducting an investigation in his official capacity as an IRS Special Agent,” stated Acting United State Attorney Kasulis.  “Today’s sentence demonstrates that this Office will vigorously prosecute and hold accountable law enforcement officials who betray the public trust and violate their sworn duty to uphold the law.”  Ms. Kasulis thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration for their outstanding work on the case.

Cho stole the identity of a former subject in one of his investigations and used it to create fake identification documents in the person’s name.  The false documents included purported identification cards and passports from the Republic of Marshall Island, the Philippines and the Republic of Guinea Bissau.  Some of the documents, including identification cards from the Philippines and the Republic of Guinea Bissau, featured Cho’s picture.  One false identification document was used by Cho to register a corporation overseas in the name of the subject.  Cho then lied during an official background investigation when he failed to disclose this conduct and denied having any aliases or foreign interests.   

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Public Integrity Section.   Assistant United States Attorneys Elizabeth Geddes and Turner Buford are in charge of the prosecution. 

The Defendant:

BRYAN CHO (also known as “Yong Hee Cho”)
Age: 50
New York, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 21-CR-40 (AMD)

Topic(s): 
Identity Theft
Public Corruption
Contact: 
John Marzulli United States Attorney’s Office (718) 254-6323
Updated October 12, 2021