Two Bergen County real estate brokers – one from Ridgefield, the other from Norwood – admitted their roles in a $4.6 million “short-sale” scheme.
Steve Young Kang, 64, of Ridgefield, and Young Jin Son, 49, of Norwood, New Jersey, told a federal judge in Newark on Thursday that they recruited others to participate in the bank and wire fraud conspiracies.
Kang sold his own properties and recruited others to sell properties to a co-schemer, Mehdi Kassai, for substantially less than they were worth by using false documents, straw buyers and cosmetic property damage, as well as restricting the ability of others to bid on and buy those properties, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
Kassai then “sold many of those properties to third-parties at a substantial profit” – conning financial institutions out of $2.7 million in this manner, Carpenito said.
Son pulled similar stunts using Kassai, defrauding financial institutions and others of $1.9 million, the U.S. attorney said.
U.S. District Judge William J. Martini scheduled sentencing for both men for Oct. 1.
Kassai previously pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme and is awaiting sentencing.
Carpenito credited the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, special agents of the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General and special agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations with making the case.
Representing the government are Senior Trial Counsel Andrew Leven of the Healthcare & Government Fraud Unit of Carpenito’s office and Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charlie Divine and Kevin Di Gregory of the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General.
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