Ki Sung Chung aka Ken Jung, 55, Norwood, New Jersey, Soon Hwa Park–Bergman, 53, Norwood, Ki Jung Yun, 51, Fairview, New Jersey, Hyang Son Yi aka Paula Yi, 56, Fairview, Dennis Oak aka Dae Sok Ok, 73, formerly of Palisades Park, New Jersey, currently a fugitive, and Beverly Oak aka Young Ae Oak, 63, formerly of Palisades Park, also a fugitive, have been charged with running an elaborate short sale fraud scheme.
On Wednesday, April 2, 2014, the above subjects were indicted by a Bergen County Grand Jury for crimes related to an elaborate short sale scheme in Palisades Park, New Jersey, and an investment scheme involving a development project in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The short sale scheme was perpetrated against the victims in 2008 and 2009 and run out of a real estate investment business in Palisades Park called Newstar Realty & Investment NJ, Inc. (Newstar). This business was owned and operated by Ki Sung Chung, and his wife, Soon Hwa Park–Bergman; Hyang Son Yi aka Paula Yi, was a licensed real estate agent and worked at Newstar Realty.
The Hanoi, Vietnam investment scheme was perpetrated among Dennis Oak, Beverly Oak and Chung. The scheme involved an alleged investment opportunity in Hanoi, Vietnam called Ho Tay (West Lake) Park Project. To facilitate this scheme, Oak and Chung incorporated under the name Hanoi New York Investment, LLC.
The short sale scheme involved alleged investments into three residential properties in Palisades Park. Chung and Park convinced the victim to invest funds to buy short sale property #1. They then took the victim’s money and funneled it to the sale of property #2, which they (Chung and Park) owned, to Yi’s husband, Ki Jung Yun. The victim was not aware of the funneling of her funds from property #1 to property #2. Property #1 was later sold to an unrelated third party at a Sheriff’s auction.
Chung, Park, Yi, and Yun further convinced the victim to invest more money in property #2 to redevelop it and flip it for profit. The victim, not realizing the fraud perpetrated against her on property #1, gave the subjects additional funds, which the subjects said was needed to pay the construction company. To prove to the victim that the money was forwarded to the construction company, Chung and Park gave the victim a copy of a check showing the victim’s money going from their bank account to the account of the construction company. The investigation revealed that this check was counterfeit and never submitted to any bank. The bank account analysis showed no funds were transferred to the stated construction company.
Chung and Park further convinced the victim to invest in yet another short sale property (#3). For property #3, they told the victim that her funds would be put into an escrow account for the purchase of property #3. Instead, the victim’s funds were deposited into a business checking account for Newstar and subsequently withdrawn for unrelated purposes. Chung and Park further convinced the victim to produce additional funds to be paid to the aforementioned construction company to do work on property #3. The victim gave these checks to Park. Instead of the funds being deposited into the (real) construction company account, the checks were deposited into a bank account set up by Chung in the same name as the construction company. These funds were also withdrawn for unrelated purposes. In total, Chung and Park stole over $260,000.00 from the victim.
For the Hanoi, Vietnam investment scheme, Oak and Chung convinced another victim to invest $300,000.00 ino Ho Tay Park project in Hanoi, Vietnam in May of 2008. The victim gave his funds to Oak through an attorney representative after receiving a “Guaranty of Performance” from Chung. The terms of the investment were that within a year, the victim would receive the original principal plus $120,000.00 in profit. An analysis of Oak’s bank accounts showed that he received the funds from the victim, but never forwarded the funds to any such investment in Vietnam. Instead, the funds were transferred to Oak’s business and his daughter. In addition, a large portion of the victim’s funds was used to open a certificate of deposit for personal savings with a local bank.
On April 2, 2014, the Honorable Edward A. Jerejian, J.S.C. authorized Warrants on the aforementioned Indictment handed down by the Bergen County Grand Jury. Bail for each defendant was set at $75,000.00 with no 10% option.
On April 3, 2014, Chung, Park, Yun, and Yi were arrested and brought before the judge for their first appearance. Mr. OAK and his wife, Mrs. OAK have not been arrested as their whereabouts are currently unknown.
Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli announced the arrests.
The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office White Collar Crimes Squad under the direction of Chief Steven Cucciniello.