Man uses fake banks to defraud customers

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Man uses fake banks to defraud customers

A 53-year-old Korean, who authorities say was living in Germany and pretended to be a bank president, stole about 1.2 billion won ($1 million) from several people.

The man was arrested yesterday in Seoul by the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office and is in custody.

Police say the man claimed he owned a German bank called “European Bank Instrument Investment,” a fake banking institution, and several banks called “Millennium Bank’s Group” in Montenegro, but authorities found that the company was capitalized at only two euros ($2.50).

The police said the Korean man held a party in a luxury hotel last year, telling people that his investment institution had attracted about 36 trillion won in investments.

The man approached a woman in Frankfurt in January 2008 and said, “Former Korean President Park Chung Hee’s slush funds are deposited in separate accounts in my bank but I need a lawyer to renew the certificate of the deposit. If you lend me the hiring fee, I will give you letters of bank guarantee for a loan.”

The man stole about 700 million won from the woman nine times until July 2009, police said.

According to the police, the man cheated two more victims last year, collecting commission totals of about 500 million won.

The investigation found that the man had 12 previous similar convictions. He was found to have issued 602 false letters of guarantee in the name of Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank.


By Lee Chul-jae [heejin@joongang.co.kr]

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