Queens Man Sentenced to Prison and to Pay $842,000 Restitution for Foreign Exchange Fraud and Money Laundering
Defendants’ Schemes Targeted the Korean American Community in Queens
Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, John Won was sentenced by United States District Judge Raymond J. Dearie to a year and a day in prison following his November 2021 conviction at trial on all counts, including securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy, as well as substantive securities fraud. Won was also ordered to pay $842,076.81 in restitution to the victims of his crimes. Won’s do-defendant Tae Hung (Kevin) Kang pleaded guilty to securities fraud conspiracy and was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment in December 2021.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the verdict.
“John Won and Kevin Kang shamelessly defrauded members of the Korean-American community in our district out of their nest eggs and life savings,” said United States Attorney Peace. “This sentence shows what fraudsters and con men should expect when they target innocent victims—they will be caught, punished and ordered to return their ill-gotten gains.”
Mr. Peace thanked the United States Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and National Futures Association (NFA) for their significant cooperation and assistance in this case.
Between October 2010 and December 2013, Won conspired with co-defendant Tae Hung Kang and others in a scheme to defraud victims, who were largely members of New York’s Korean-American community, into investing in foreign exchange trading accounts and in their company, called ForexNPower. In furtherance of this scheme, the conspirators issued advertisements in Korean-language newspapers and on Korean-language radio stations claiming that ForexNPower had a secret algorithmic trading method used to trade in the foreign exchange market that guaranteed investors 10% monthly returns at no risk of loss. In reality, ForexNPower had no successful trading method and their customer accounts suffered substantial losses.
The conspirators also induced investors to purchase stock issued by ForexNPower, by falsely claiming that the invested funds would be used to expand the business to a new location in New Jersey or pooled and used to trade foreign currencies. In truth, the defendant and his co-conspirators misappropriated a substantial portion of the funds, spending the remainder on, among other things, the fraudulent advertisements described above.
In July 2022, Mr. Peace was selected as the Chairperson of the White Collar Fraud subcommittee for the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC). As the leader of the subcommittee, Mr. Peace will play a key role in making recommendations to the AGAC to facilitate the prevention, investigation and prosecution of various financially motivated, non-violent crimes including mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, health care fraud, tax fraud, securities and commodities fraud, and identity theft.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Business and Securities Fraud Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Sarah M. Evans, Nicholas J. Moscow and Assistant Chief Gerald M. Moody, Jr. of the Department of Justice’s Fraud Section are in charge of the prosecution.
Whitestone, New York
TAE HUNG KANG (also known as Kevin Kang)
Bayside, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-184 (RJD)