LOS ANGELES (CN) - Twelve people were arrested Wednesday and three are being sought in a bank account "bustout" scheme that cost Southern California banks more than $15 million, federal prosecutors said.
The roundup was named "Operation Check Kkang," a Korean term for check kiting. The ring victimized major banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo Bank, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
The 26-count indictment accuses the ring of depositing fraudulent checks and then immediately withdrawing money from the account.
A federal grand jury returned the indictment on May 7. It was unsealed Wednesday.
Arrested were Michael Yeon Cho, 30, of Pacific Palisades;
Kun Young Lee, 51, of Los Angeles (Koreatown);
Jeong Gu Kim, 53, of Los Angeles;
Hak Soo Shim, 40, of Newport Beach;
Renling "Mark Ling" Chao, 50, of Los Angeles (Brentwood);
Il Hwan Jae, 60, of Los Angeles (Koreatown);
Erick Palafox, 28, of Lynwood
Jae Kwon An, 42, of Riverside;
Joonie Yeon Cho, 42, of Los Angeles (Koreatown);
Eun Ah Kim, aka Eun Ae Kim, 39, of Los Angeles;
Hee Jung Lee, 41, of Riverside; and
Woo Chang Lim, 36, of Ventura.
Named as fugitives are Jae Ho Chung, 44, of Los Angeles (Westwood);
Roger Lee, 48, of Cerritos;
and Hye Ran Lee, 30, of Irvine.