- Dean Smith
Pastor and Friend Sentenced in Liberty Mutual Insurance Scam
Carl Hessler Jr. of The Reporter states that Kyung Soon Kim, a Montgomery Township pastor, and friend Kathleen Bangwhan Chung, have been sentenced in connection to a car insurance scam on behalf of Liberty Mutual Insurance Company.
The criminal complaint states that Chung’s son purchased a 2008 Lexus in November of 2007, but was unable to pick up the vehicle, as he left for Korea for employment purposes. Between December 2007 to December 2008, authorities believe that Kim was in possession of the vehicle. In one year’s time, Kim put 45,000 miles on the vehicle.
In December of 2008, Chung notified authorities and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company to report that the Lexus had been stolen from the Melrose Shopping Center in Cheltenham Township. Liberty Mutual paid the $42,053 claim while the Lexus sat in Kim’s garage in Montgomery Township for the next three years.
Investigators discovered the scam, and Chung stated that Kim “told her several times to report the car stolen and call the police.” Chung revealed that she had left the car in the parking lot of the Melrose Shopping Center, let Kim take it to his home, and notified the police to report it stolen.
Kim’s claims are quite different, as he told the court that Chung “told him the vehicle was stolen and that she reported it stolen but that she later found it in the same parking lot.” To help out a friend, Kim picked up the vehicle as he agreed to store it in his garage.
Chung was sentenced to seven years probation and 125 hours of community service after pleading guilty to making false reports to insurance company and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.
Kim was sentenced to two weekends in county jail, 200 hours of community service, and seven years probation after pleading guilty to theft by unlawful taking and conspiracy to commit theft.
Both Chung and Kim are also ordered to pay $24,533 in restitution to Liberty Mutual.