David C. Weiss, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced today that on Monday, September 30, 2019, District Judge Richard G. Andrews sentenced Tae Kim, age 49, of Wayne, Pennsylvania, to an 18-month prison sentence for bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The Court also ordered Kim to pay mandatory restitution of at least $2,459,150.49, and to serve three years of supervised release following his sentence.
Kim, a former relationship manager (loan officer) for Citibank and WSFS Bank, pleaded guilty in August 2017, to committing bank fraud in connection with loans obtained by one of his customers, Dr. Zahid Aslam. Kim’s conduct involved allowing Aslam to use third-party nominees to obtain loans on Aslam’s behalf at Citibank and WSFS Bank. These loans, which Aslam could not have otherwise qualified for on his own, fueled the growth of his medical practices. Kim acknowledged that he was responsible for additional misconduct, including: (1) submitting false information about Aslam’s available deposits at Citibank in connection with a loan application at another bank, which was eventually declined; and (2) falsifying the scope of Aslam’s liabilities in connection with multiple loans at WSFS Bank. Aslam’s loans eventually went into default. Aslam pleaded guilty, acknowledged making false statements to Citibank and WSFS Bank, and received a sentence of 30 months imprisonment.
In imposing sentence on Kim, Judge Andrews stated that “loan officers at banks are supposed to protect the bank’s interests and act as the first line of defense.” Instead, defendant Kim was “working for Dr. Aslam, not the banks, when it came to Dr. Aslam’s loans.” The Court told Kim, “This was a very rewarding relationship for you,” and that there was “a strong element of greed here.” The Court referenced Kim’s status as a banking professional in noting that a prison sentence was important to place other bankers on notice of the consequences of committing criminal conduct during their employment. As a result of his criminal conviction, Kim agreed to a bar from working in the banking industry.
U.S. Attorney Weiss stated the following, “We couldn’t agree more with the Court that banking professionals have a special responsibility to safeguard the interest of financial institutions in protecting depositor funds. Here, Mr. Kim placed greed and his own financial needs over prudent banking. His conduct resulted in significant losses to Citibank and WSFS, for which he was punished appropriately by the Court. My Office will continue to exercise vigilance in protecting the integrity of the banking system. I commend the hard work of the agents and prosecutors who helped bring Mr. Kim and Dr. Aslam to justice.”
“The FBI remains committed to working with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners in Delaware to protect our nation’s financial security, to include aggressively pursuing those who defraud our banking institutions,” said Special Agent in Charge Jennifer Boone of the FBI’s Baltimore Division. “This defendant abused his position as a loan officer and will now serve federal jail time for his fraudulent actions.”
“The IRS Criminal Investigation stands ready to partner with all law enforcement agencies to combat fraud against financial institutions,” said IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Guy Ficco. “Those considering similar behavior should be aware of the steep penalties, which often include jail time.”
The case was investigated by the FBI Baltimore Division’s Wilmington Office and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations Division, the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Commission – Office of Inspector General.