Banker pleads guilty to obtaining fraudulent loans for doctor

A Pennsylvania loan officer pleaded guilty this week to charges that he conspired with a Maryland doctor to obtain under false pretenses nearly $4 million in loans from banks in Delaware.

The two also attempted, but failed, to secure a $5-million loan from a Maryland bank, according to federal prosecutors.

The banker, Tae H. Kim, 47, of Wayne, Pennsylvania, entered a guilty plea on Monday to separate fraud charges filed in the U.S. district courts of Delaware and Maryland.

Prosecutors say Kim admitted he conspired with his client, Dr. Zahid Aslam, 44, of Elkton, Maryland, to obtain a Small Business Administration loan worth $1.8 million from Citibank in 2012, and a $2.2 million loan from WSFS Bank in 2013.

Kim placed the loans in others people's names despite knowing the proceeds would be controlled by Aslam, prosecutors said.

The loan officer also failed to disclose to the banks the business relationship he and Aslam maintained, and his receipt of a $60,000 loan and a BMW from Aslam.

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

"Kim abused his position as a loan officer by defrauding three financial institutions and the Small Business Administration for the benefit of a key client," Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware David Weiss said in a statement.

The case was investigated by eight separate federal agencies, including the FBI and IRS.

Aslam, who owned Alpha Medical Center in Elkton, has been charged in a separate criminal case.

The indictment against Aslam claims he took out the fraudulent loans because he knew he would not qualify for financing legitimately.

In resolving the Maryland charge, Kim admitted that he submitted a false “Request for Verification of Deposit” form on behalf of Aslam, who had requested a $5 million loan from Cecil Bank for a separate business venture, prosecutors said.

While the verification of deposit documents represented that Aslam had maintained a checking account for the business – with an average balance of $1.6 million – Kim admitted that the account had been opened the day before he submitted the deposit verification form, and it was funded through a single check from a separate entity controlled by Aslam, according to prosecutors.

Cecil Bank had determined that Aslam's business needed to demonstrate it held at least $1.3 million in cash, or an equal value of equity, to qualify for a Small Business Administration guarantee.

Although Cecil Bank approved the $5 million loan, the loan was never funded because the U.S. Small Business Administration determined the loan did not qualify for the guarantee.

United States Judge Richard G. Andrews scheduled Kim's sentencing hearing for next January.

The maximum penalty for the Delaware charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud is 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. The maximum penalty for the charge in Maryland of attempted bank fraud also is 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.


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