Cell Phone Store Owner Defrauds Insurer of $1M

Andy Jungsik Kim, owner of a California cell phone retailer, has been sentenced to three years and four months in state prison for his involvement in more than 2,000 fraudulent insurance claims. He pleaded guilty.

The California Insurance Department (CDI) says Kim, 37, of Studio City, Calif., will serve the sentence for grand theft, multiple counts of identity theft and for possession of a forged driver’s license. The court has also ordered Kim to pay restitution.

According to authorities in October 2009, Asurion Insurance Services, a nationwide insurance company specializing in insuring cell phones, reported suspected cell phone insurance fraud activity involving Kim’s store Skyland Cellular. The retailer has two cell phone stores in Los Angeles, Calif.

Investigators say over a period of time, starting in March 2008, Kim submitted multiple false and fraudulent claims to Asurion in order to obtain replacement cell phones for resale at a substantially lower cost. Kim used information from the cell phone accounts of customers of his two cell phone stores.

Kim provided Asurion with addresses for the shipping of the replacement cell phones that were private mailboxes he had rented using a fake California driver’s license. The investigation uncovered losses to Asurion to be more than $1 million.

A co-defendant, Chong Han Kim, who worked in one of the Skyland Cellular stores, and co-defendants Yong Koo Kim, Chong Sok Son and Jun Choi allegedly conspired with Kim. Authorities have arrested four of the defendants. Meanwhile, Jun Choi remains at large and is considered to be a fugitive.

Sources: Insurance and Financial Advisor, California Department of Insurance

 

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