QUEENS MAN CHARGED WITH STEALING IDENTITIES OF VICTIMS AND GOING ON CAR-BUYING SPREE
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Yong “Jason” Jeon, 47, is charged with grand larceny, identity theft and other crimes for allegedly stealing the identities of multiple people and then purchasing and leasing 11 cars from a dealership between July 2019 and March 2020. In addition to getting a new car out of the nefarious deals, the defendant was also paid thousands of dollars in finder’s fees for brokering the sales.
District Attorney Katz said, “Preying on non-English speaking members of the Korean community, the defendant allegedly helped some to acquire cars and then helped himself to their personal information to enrich himself. Using forged documents, faked identification and double-talk, this alleged conman swindled the car dealership out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The other victims are the seven individuals who had their personal information stolen and in some instances their credit ratings ruined. Many of the victims didn’t realize they had been conned until they received big bills in the mail for cars they didn’t purchase or lease. The defendant now faces very serious charges for these alleged crimes.”
Jeon, of Little Neck, Queens, was arraigned late last night before Queens Criminal Court Judge Karen Gopee on a complaint charging him with grand larceny in the second, third and fourth degree, criminal possession of stolen property in the third and fourth degree, attempted criminal possession of stolen property in the third and fourth degree, falsifying business records in the first and second degree, scheme to defraud and identity theft in the first degree. Judge Gopee set the defendant’s return date for February 2, 2021. If convicted, Jeon faces up to 3 ½ to 7 years in prison.
According to the charges, in July 2019 Jeon was actively offering his services to non-English-speaking Koreans to help them buy or lease a car. He also allegedly used their personal information as if it were his own. In July 2019, the defendant is accused of using the name, birth date and social security number of a man to lease a 2019 Kia Sedona. Jeon submitted the required paperwork with the buyer’s signature and as a finder’s fee the dealership paid the defendant $4,400.
DA Katz said Jeon allegedly repeated this scheme multiple times through March 2020. The defendant allegedly submitted signed paperwork on behalf of individuals who supposedly wished to either lease or purchase new automobiles. The same dealership was used for all the transactions. Jeon drove off the lot with late model Kia brand cars including Sorentos, Sedonas and Optimas. The dealership paid the defendant between $4,000 and up to $19,200 for brokering the sales. In all, Jeon collected nearly $60,000 in finder’s fees.
According to the complaint, one man was victimized on four separate occasions. Between December 2019 and March 2020, the defendant allegedly used the victim’s personal information and bought a 2019 Kia Sorento, a 2019 Kia Sedona, a second 2019 Kia Sedona and lastly a 2020 Kia Telluride.
In every purchase or lease, according to the charges, the defendant forged the buyers’ signatures on the documents and even used a driver’s license that had the real individual’s photo swapped out for another person’s image.
The DA added that, according to the charges, a 2019 Sedona that was allegedly purchased fraudulently by the defendant in December 2019 was involved in a car crash in January 2020. Following the collision, the driver of the Sedona told police that he was renting the vehicle from the defendant for $1,000 a month.
The investigation was conducted by the Sergeant Ronald Georg, with the assistance of Detectives Hugh Dorsey and James Monaco, of the Queens District Attorney’s Detective Bureau, and under the supervision of Lieutenant John Kenna, Deputy Chief Daniel O’Brien, and under the overall supervision of Chief Edwin Murphy.
The District Attorney would like to give special thanks to Detective HeeJin Park Dance, under the supervision of Sergeant Stacey Lee and Lieutenant William Negus of the Queens DA’s NYPD Squad, and Vitaliy Zaprometov, Senior Investigator with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
Assistant District Attorney Hana Kim, Chief of the DA’s Auto Crime and Insurance Fraud Unit within the Major Economic Crimes Bureau, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Mary Lowenburg, Bureau Chief, Catherine C. Kane and Jonathan Scharf, Deputy Bureau Chiefs and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Gerard A. Brave.
**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.