Virginia Lawyer Gets 15 Years for SBA Loan Fraud

A Virginia lawyer was sentenced to 15 years and eight months in prison for his role in a scheme that resulted in more than $100 million in losses on loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Joon Park, 43, of Falls Church, was sentenced today in federal court in Baltimore. He admitted that from 2003 to October 2011, he and his co-conspirators submitted SBA loan applications with fraudulent documents including counterfeit cashier’s checks and falsified bank statements and tax returns, U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein of Maryland said today in a statement.

The phony paperwork was used to persuade SBA officials to approve loans under a program that requires business owners to invest specified amounts of their own money. Taxpayers, through the SBA, guaranteed 75 percent to 90 percent of each loan, with lenders on the hook for the rest, according to Rosenstein.

“When borrowers and brokers submit false information and fraudulent documents, the underwriting process is defeated and the taxpayers bear the loss,” Rosenstein said.

Park was the leader of the conspiracy, along with his brother, according to the statement. The scheme operated through Park’s brokerage, Jade Capital & Investments LLC of Woodbridge, Virginia. His brother, Loren Park, is still at large and believed to be in South Korea, according to Marcia Murphy, a spokeswoman for Rosenstein.

Park arranged for 124 fraudulent loans with 17 commercial lenders ranging from $100,000 to $14.5 million, according to a superseding indictment returned March 7 by a federal grand jury.

Four other participants in the scheme have already been sentenced to prison and a fifth conspirator has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

The case is U.S. v. Park, 11-cr-00600, U.S. District Court, District of Maryland (Baltimore).

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