RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Glen Allen man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to committing wire fraud and making false statements to a federally insured bank during a two-year scheme to defraud a Pennsylvania-based bank and the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
According to court documents, Tae Il Lee, 41, was the managing director of a Richmond-based company that exported American snacks and other foods to international buyers, specifically South Korean companies.
“In April 2016, Lee sought what eventually became a $1.6 million loan from First National Bank of Pennsylvania, relying on the “Working Capital Program” offered by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM Bank). Under the program, EXIM guaranteed to provide financial backing for the loan in the event that New World Group defaulted,” a release said.
Officials said Lee then provided documents to First National Bank showing that New World Group was a growing, thriving export company. In court on Tuesday, Lee said those were false.
“In the spring of 2018, First National Bank issued a demand letter for the $1.6 million loan to New World Group. New World Group never completed any payments to First National Bank, which requested that EXIM cover the defaulted loan. EXIM did so, absorbing the $1.6 million loss,” a release said.
Lee is scheduled to be sentenced in May. He faces up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud and 30 years in prison for making false statements to a federally insured bank.
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