Elkton doc­tor’s co-de­fen­dant pleads guilty in fraud case

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - Jowens@ce­cil­whig.com

WILM­ING­TON, DEL. — Two months af­ter be­ing in­dicted in a fed­eral loan fraud case, the code­fen­dant of an Elkton doc­tor pleaded guilty Mon­day.

Tae H. Kim, 47, of Wayne, Pa., en­tered a guilty plea to con­spir­acy to com­mit bank fraud and at­tempted bank fraud filed in the Dis­trict of Delaware and the Dis­trict of Mary­land, re­spec­tively, ac­cord­ing to court records. Sen­tenc­ing is set for Jan. 11. Both of the fraud charges carry max­i­mum sen­tences of 30 years in prison, a fine of $1 mil­lion, a term of su­per­vised re­lease of five years, a $100 spe­cial as­sess­ment and manda­tory resti­tu­tion.

“Tae Kim abused his po­si­tion as a loan of­fi­cer by de­fraud­ing three fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions and the Small Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion (SBA) for the ben­e­fit of a key client. He fur­ther lever­aged his po­si­tion to profit per­son­ally from an ex­ten­sive busi­ness re­la­tion­ship with that client, all of which he con­cealed from his em­ploy­ers,” Act­ing U.S. At­tor­ney for the Dis­trict of Delaware David Weiss said in state­ment Mon­day. “I ap­plaud the dili­gence of fed­eral law en­force­ment in Delaware and Mary­land in un­cov­er­ing the breadth and scope of Kim’s crim­i­nal con­duct. Our of­fice re­mains com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing the in­tegrity of the fed­eral bank­ing sys­tem.”

Kim ad­mit­ted to aid­ing Dr. Zahid As­lam, of Elkton, in ac­quir­ing two loans he was not qual­i­fied for and at­tempt­ing to ob­tain a third, which was de­nied by the SBA.

As­lam, 44, who owns the Alpha Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Elkton and also has prac­tices in Delaware, New Jer­sey and Penn­syl­va­nia, was charged by a fed­eral grand jury on June 15 with one count of con­spir­acy to com­mit bank fraud and two counts of mak­ing false state­ments on loan ap­pli­ca­tions. All three charges come with a max­i­mum prison sen­tence of 30 years and a fine of up to $1 mil­lion. He was ar­rested in June and has pleaded not guilty in his con­tin­u­ing case.

Kim ad­mit­ted to fraud­u­lently fill­ing out a “re­quest for ver­i­fi­ca­tion of de­posit” form in June 2011 sub­mit­ted to his em­ployer, Citibank, by Ce­cil Bank in Elkton for a $5 mil­lion loan ap­plied for by As­lam. While As­lam’s Citibank ac­count had only been open for one day with a bal­ance of about $1.45 mil­lion, Kim as­serted that it had been open for more than a year with an av­er­age bal­ance of $1.6 mil­lion.

“The ver­i­fi­ca­tion of de­posit form was im­por­tant be­cause Ce­cil Bank had de­ter­mined that the busi­ness needed to show proof of eq­uity or cash on hand of at least $1.38 mil­lion to qual­ify for a SBA Guar­an­tee,” Weiss’ of­fice re­ported. “Although Ce­cil Bank ap­proved the $5 mil­lion loan, the loan was never funded be­cause the SBA de­ter­mined that the loan did not qual­ify for the guar­an­tee.”

Kim also ad­mit­ted to con­spir­ing with As­lam to ob­tain loans from Citibank and WSFS Bank un­der false pre­tenses. In par­tic­u­lar, he ad­mit­ted that he and As­lam agreed to sub­mit loan re­quests in the names of third par­ties, when they knew that the loan pro­ceeds would be con­trolled by As­lam.

The doc­tor had one of his busi­ness part­ners, iden­ti­fied only as Per­son A, sub­mit a $1.72 mil­lion loan ap­pli­ca­tion through Citibank in January 2012 to fund con­struc­tion costs for the Ce­cil Surgery Cen­ter, which is part of Alpha Med­i­cal Cen­ter, ac­cord­ing to the in­dict­ment. Kim was the Citibank re­la­tion­ship man­ager who han­dled the loan and the SBA guar­an­tee that was re­quired as a pre­con­di­tion of Citibank’s ap­proval.

Per­son A ap­plied for the loan and rep­re­sented them­selves as the owner of the surgery cen­ter be­cause both Kim and As­lam knew As­lam would not qual­ify for the loan due to his credit his­tory and amount of out­stand­ing loans. Per­son A was given an own­er­ship in­ter­est in the cen­ter in ex­change for ap­ply­ing for the loan, ac­cord­ing to the in­dict­ment.

Sim­i­larly, in Au­gust 2013, As­lam had a fam­ily mem­ber of one of his busi­ness part­ners, iden­ti­fied only as Per­son B, ap­ply for loan with WSFS for $2.183 mil­lion for Tri-State MRI & Imag­ing, also a part of the Alpha Med­i­cal Cen­ter. Per­son B was asked to sub­mit the loan be­cause Kim, who was now work­ing at WSFS, and As­lam again knew that As­lam wouldn’t qual­ify for the loan, ac­cord­ing to the in­dict­ment.

In sub­mit­ting the loan re­quests, Kim failed to dis­close his ex­ten­sive fi­nan­cial re­la­tion­ship with As­lam. That re­la­tion­ship in­cluded As­lam pro­vid­ing Kim with own­er­ship shares in two med­i­cal busi­nesses, a check for $60,000, a 2009 BMW and bi­weekly pay­ments from Au­gust 2013 to January 2017 to­tal­ing more than $600,000, among other items, ac­cord­ing to the in­dict­ment.

As part of his guilty plea, Kim agreed to for­feit the BMW and $60,000 in cash.

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