KL Fraudster Pleads Guilty In $150M Hedge Fund Fraud

Jul 3 2007 | 1:40pm ET

A former adviser with defunct hedge fund KL Group has pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud in connection with a scam that may have cost investors up to $150 million.

Yung Bae Kim faces up to 25 years in prison following his plea on one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and another count of wire fraud.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, Kim admitted participating in a “massive fraud” that took in some $195 million as part of a pyramid scheme from 2000 to 2005, when the Securities and Exchange Commission moved to shut down KL.

Yung Kim also implicated his former partners, John Kim and Won Lee, in the scheme, saying the trio used counterfeit documents that falsely reported returns to fool lawyers, accountants, investors and potential investors.

“Today’s guilty plea confirms the federal government’s and the State of Florida’s continued commitment to investigate and prosecute individuals who have misused computers and the internet to defraud the investing public,” U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta said in a statement. “This case is another example of the successes that occur when law enforcement agencies combine resources to combat fraud and money laundering in our community.”

Yung Kim, who in addition to jail time faces a fine of as much as $500,000 and an order to pay restitution to victims, will be sentenced Nov. 2.

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