Joon Park, a Virginia-based loan broker, pleaded guilty this week in Baltimore federal court to using fake documents to win $100 million in bank loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Park’s brokerage, Jade Capital & Investments LLC, of Woodbridge, Va., specifically used phony documents to persuade SBA officials to approve loans under an SBA program requiring small business owners to invest specified amounts of their own money, according to U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein.
Park admitted that from 1998 until October 2011, he and other conspirators - including his brother, Loren Park - submitted SBA loan applications to loan originators and underwriters on behalf of clients that contained falsified documents. Those papers included bank statements doctored to make it appear applicants had more cash to pump into a business than they actually had.
Joon Park, 43, entered a plea to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. He faces up to 30 years in prison and a judgment of more than $91 million when sentenced on May 28, according to an agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore.
He arranged for 124 fraudulent loans with 17 commercial lenders ranging in size from $100,000 to $14.5 million, according to a federal grand jury indictment. Loren Park, also charged in the case, is believed to be in Korea.
In some cases, Joon Park and Loren Park, had undisclosed ownership interests in businesses receiving loan proceeds. In other cases, loan applicants were unaware that their financial or personal information was being falsified, according to the U.S. Attorney's office
Lenders included units of large bank holding companies such as M&T Bank Corp. in Buffalo, N.Y., and PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh, as well as regional lenders such as Chesapeake Bank, of Kilmarnock, Va., and the Sandy Spring Bank unit of Sandy Spring Bancorp Inc. in Olney, Md., according to the indictment.