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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Former Annandale mortgage broker sent to prison for fraud and ID theft

Former Annandale mortgage broker Kil Seok (“Michael”) Seo, 49, was sentenced April 3 to 38 months in prison for engaging in bank fraud and aggravated identity theft as part of a mortgage fraud scheme, reports the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Seo also was ordered by U.S. District Judge James C. Cacheris to pay restitution of $894,600 to several banks that were the victims of his criminal conduct.

According to court records, Seo schemed with others, including Peter Jin, to defraud lenders by transferring title to residential properties into the names of victims and opening home equity lines of credit in their names without their knowledge or consent. Seo and Jin then opened bank accounts in the victims’ names for the purpose of receiving the fraudulently obtained loan proceeds.

As part of the scheme, Seo obtained from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles an identification card in the name of a victim but with Seo’s photo. He used that fraudulent ID to take out a home equity loan in the victim’s name.

In 2009, co-defendant Jin pleaded guilty to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft charges in connection with his role in the offense and was sentenced to 48 months in prison.

Seo was indicted on Dec. 10, 2009, by a federal grand jury. He was extradited to the United States in November 2103 from Korea where he had been living since 2009. He entered a guilty plea in U.S. District Court on Jan. 14.

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