Hours after the September arrest of Stephen Young Kang for alleged wire fraud and money laundering, the U.S. Attorney's office announced that additional alleged victims of the Newport Beach lawyer had emerged. To show you that investigations of suspects do not end with their arrests, even more criminal counts–for wire fraud, tax evasion and identity theft–were just filed against the 46-year-old.
The new fraud allegations concern three more alleged victims (including one who came forward in response to the FBI's call for additional victims when Kang was initially indicted) who collectively suffered losses of more than $1 million, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles.
The trio gave Kang money to invest, but the attorney allegedly used the money for his own personal and business expenses, according to prosecutors, who further accused him of using the names and forging the signatures of two clients without permission as part of the fraud. The tax evasion rap stems from the “substantial taxable income” Kang allegedly received, failed to report and did not pay taxes on in 2012 through 2014, the U.S. Attorney's office explains.
Currently free on a $750,000 bond, Kang will now be summoned back to federal court in Los Angeles for arraignment on the superseding indictment, say prosecutors, who note his original trial date had been set for Nov. 3.
Kang now faces 22 counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, two counts of aggravated identity theft and three counts of tax evasion. A federal grand jury indictment indicates that, if convicted, he could get up to 20 years in prison for each of the wire fraud charges, up to 10 years for each money-laundering offense, five years for each tax-evasion count and a two-year consecutive term for the identity theft charges.
The indictment also stipulates that Kang must surrender all ill-gotten gains if he is found guilty.
But wait, there may be more! The investigation of Kang continues, and FBI and IRS agents confide they believe he may have victimized others in places he practiced law or resided, including California, Seoul, Korea, and Texas, where some of his firm's clients were in the energy business. Anyone who believes this guy took them for a ride should contact the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office at 310.477.6565.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.