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Press Release

Man admits to “spoof” email fraud scheme and more

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

HOUSTON – A 64-year-old man has admitted to conspiring to commit money laundering for his role in a complex email fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Kenenty Kim aka Myung Kim engaged in a business email compromise scheme using “spoof” email addresses which have similar names to legitimate email accounts that Kim hacked. He would then use the addresses to create fictitious transactions or to hijack legitimate transactions to convince a victim company or individual to send funds to a bank account Kim actually controlled.   

For example, Kim created a spoof email account for a Pinehurst-based construction company. He then used that account to convince another company, based in Huntsville, to send over $200,000 to them. In reality, the account where they sent the funds was actually an account Kim controlled. He then took that money and moved it through several different bank accounts before placing it in an offshore account. 

Kim also engaged in the same conduct against the parent company of several major appliance companies. Kim created a spoof account of one of its vendors and used it to convince the company to send more than $300,000 to what it thought was a vendor. The account was actually set up for a different shell company Kim created with a similar name. Again, Kim took that money and eventually placed it in an offshore account.

At a previous hearing, the court also heard about Kim’s numerous credit card fraud schemes. In those, Kim created a system to process credit card payments. He would then obtain a victim’s personal identifying information and charge over $10,000 on their credit cards. Kim also had 36 different credit cards in a variety of names, four different Social Security numbers, two dates of birth, 11 different overlapping addresses and a prior real estate license suspension for engaging in fraud.  

In his plea agreement, Kim acknowledged he gained over $700,000 from his various fraud schemes.

U.S. District Judge George C. Hanks accepted the plea today and has set sentencing for Aug. 19. At that time, Kim, of Firecrest, Washington, faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $500,000 fine or twice the amount he intended to obtain as a result of the criminal offense.

Kim has been and will remain in custody pending sentencing.

The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney  Adam Laurence Goldman is prosecuting the case.

Updated June 2, 2020

Financial Fraud