Woman Sentenced to Prison for Mortgage and Tax Fraud

Allison Tussey —  February 9, 2015 — Leave a comment

Yeon Han, 53, McLean, Virginia, was sentenced to 30 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for her participation in mortgage fraud and tax fraud conspiracies. Han was also ordered to pay $1,022,143.95 in restitution to the victims of her crimes.

Han pleaded guilty to two separate counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud on May 15, 2013. According to court documents, Han was the owner and operator of Pacific Realty, a real estate sales and leasing company based in Annandale, Virginia. Her first fraud scheme involved a “short-sale” fraud conspiracy. A “short sale” is a real estate transaction in which the proceeds from the property sale fall short of the balance of debts secured by liens against the property. Because the property owner cannot afford to repay the full amount of the liens, the lien holder agrees to release the lien on the property and accept less than the amount owed on the debt. As part of this offense, Han and her co-conspirators inflated the true costs required to convey clear title for a short sale transaction. They communicated to the short sale lender that the short seller needed an allowance for costs related to a short sale closing that was much higher than the actual closing costs associated with closing the transaction. The conspirators then created false HUD-1 settlement statements that made it appear as if the closing cost allowance provided to the seller by the short sale lender was used for appropriate and legitimate purposes, such as pay-offs of past due real estate taxes or disbursements to second lien holders. In reality, the defendant disbursed these fraudulent “overages” directly to herself and her co-conspirators. As a result of her “short sale” fraud scheme, financial institutions lost more than $1 million. Beginning in 2013, over 10 defendants in northern Virginia pleaded guilty to their involvement in overlapping conspiracies and crimes like the one Han committed.

Han also pleaded guilty to a second offense involving a tax fraud conspiracy with James Sohn, who also pleaded guilty in 2013 for his involvement in this scheme. Sohn was the owner of Washington Food & Supply of DC, Inc., a wholesale food distribution company based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Washington Food & Supply of DC, Inc. was a high volume cash business. As part of this offense, Sohn would provide Han with paper bags full of cash, and Han would write checks and make wire transfers to Sohn to hide his cash profits from federal and state authorities. Han knowingly conducted these transactions to assist and advance Sohn’s failure to accurately report income from his cash businesses and pay the appropriate state and federal taxes. During the course of this conspiracy, the defendant and Sohn defrauded the U.S. government and the State of Maryland of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Andrew G. McCabe, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Thomas J. Kelly, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and IRS-CI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chad Golder prosecuted the case.

Allison Tussey

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