It Takes Korean Prosecutors to Convict Korean Fraudsters in San Diego County, California

Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Jeanie Williams prosecuted nine defendants involved in the Good Neighbor Services, Inc. (GNS) janitorial business, for the largest premium fraud case in San Diego County. The Kwon family owned and operated the janitorial staffing agency used by luxury hotels throughout California. They substantially underreported payroll to their workers’ compensation carriers and Employment Development to reduce their workers’ compensation premiums and payroll taxes. They concealed over $15 million in payroll by persuading family members, business associates, and employees of GNS to create shell companies.

DDA Williams and DDA Daniel Bahk discussed the case with Insurance Fraud Chief Dominic Dugo. Together, they brought in Mr. Yeongsu Jeong, a South Korean Prosecutor, who recently received his L.L.M. in comparative law from University San Diego Law School. He was assigned to the Insurance Fraud Division, and was instrumental in the partial resolution of this case.

When Mr. Jeong was first assigned to the Division, DDAs Min Yoon and Bahk spent time providing him with direction to get started on the GNS case. Ms. Yoon and Mr. Bahk made themselves available to speak with him in Korean, which made the transition easier for him. Mr. Jeong translated and summarized hundreds of hours of jail calls. This saved the DA’s office more than $300,000. Mr. Jeong reviewed the relevant jury instructions, the grand jury transcript, and the search warrant affidavits. Within hours, he fully grasped the charges, the scheme, and relevant information needed from the jail calls.

Mr. Jeong briefed DDA Jeanie Williams on the substance of the jail calls and identified additional suspects, shell companies, and other fraudulent schemes. In addition, he interviewed Korean speaking witnesses and suspects. His assistance on the GNS case was invaluable. He showed a wealth of understanding regarding schemes and financial transactions in the Korean community.

So far, co-defendant Ms. Woo Hui Kwon pleaded guilty in the GNS case and was sentenced to six years eight months in custody combined with restitution of $1.3 million paid out of the $6.3 million stipulated in her plea deal. Mr. Jeong played a large part in the success of this case because of his outstanding efforts as a volunteer prosecutor for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office in the Insurance Fraud Division.