U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Andrews sentenced Tae Kim, age 49, of Wayne, PA, 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 nearly $2.5 million and to serve three years of supervised release following his sentence.
Kim, a former 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 allowing Aslam to use third-party nominees to obtain loans on Aslam’s behalf at Citibank and WSFS Bank, prosecutors stated.
The loans, which Aslam could not have otherwise qualified for on his own, fueled the growth of his medical practices and a medical center in Elkton.
Kim acknowledged that he was responsible for the following, according to a release from the office of the U.S. Attorney for Delaware:
(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 in prison.
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.”
According to the release, the courtreferenced 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 never work in the banking industry.
U.S. Attorney David 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.”