Money laundering, visa fraud sink GCC, company officials


Shawn N. Anderson, acting U.S. attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, announced yesterday that the Guam Construction Co. and its president, Byong Hee Kang, 88, were convicted and sentenced for conspiracy to commit visa fraud. Also, Choon Hee Kang, 76, the sister of Byong Kang and former vice president of GCC, was convicted and sentenced for conspiracy to commit money laundering.

On July 10, 2015, a superseding indictment was returned against GCC, Byong Hee Kang, and Choon Hee Kang. Charges included conspiracy to commit visa fraud by intentionally misrepresenting the occupations of H-2B workers in an effort to fraudulently obtain H-2B visas. After the workers arrived in Guam, Byong Hee Kang caused GCC to employ them in skilled occupations not authorized on their H-2B visas.

Additionally, Choon Hee Kang and her co-defendants were charged with conspiracy to launder money, which involved financial transactions with visa fraud proceeds exceeding $1,140,878.07.

The United States also sought the forfeiture of money equal to the value of the proceeds of that offense.

On March 20, 2017, Chief Judge Francis Tydingco-Gatewood of the District of Guam sentenced the defendants as follows:

GCC sentenced to:
• Five years probation (during which it must submit to unannounced examination of its books and records by the probation officer or experts engaged by the court);
• $1,875,407.12 in criminal forfeiture, which represented visa fraud proceeds seized from the GCC corporate bank account.
• An additional $27,000 fine
• $400 assessment fee

Byong Hee Kang was sentenced to:
• Three years probation with 14 months of home detention;
• $10,000 fine
• $2,334 restitution
• $100 Special Assessment fee
• Forfeiture of all rights and interest in the visa fraud proceeds.

Choon Hee Kang was sentenced to:
• Time served and three years of supervised release.
• As a condition of supervised release, report to DHS for removal or deportation proceedings
• $7,500 fine
• $100 special assessment fee
• Forfeiture of all rights and interest in the visa fraud proceeds.

Anderson said: “Maintaining the integrity of the H-2B visa program is vital to our business community. The Department of Justice will continue to prosecute those who seek personal enrichment through dishonest business practices. The forfeiture of nearly $2 million in visa fraud proceeds is a significant step toward accountability for corporate wrongdoers…”

The investigation was a joint effort involving local and federal law enforcement, including the Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service —Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Department of Labor —Wage & Hour Division, the Guam Department of Labor, and Guam Customs & Quarantine Agency.

This case was prosecuted by Stephen F. Leon Guerrero and Belinda Alcantara, assistant US. attorneys. (USAO)

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