2019 | Courts

County Sues Former Economic Development Official Convicted of Stealing Millions

Restitution sought from Peter Bang, family and associates after embezzlement

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Peter Bang

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Montgomery County is suing a former economic development executive who embezzled nearly $7 million in county funds in a scheme that went undetected for years.

Byung Il “Peter” Bang, 59, of Germantown, was sentenced to 15 years in state prison in March after pleading guilty to charges of misconduct in office and stealing county funds and putting them into personal overseas bank accounts. Bang also was sentenced to four years in prison for federal wire and tax fraud, which will run concurrent to his state sentence.

Bang was second-in-command in the county’s economic development department during the scheme, which involved transferring funds into four South Korean bank accounts under the guise of building an incubator space for businesses in South Korea’s Chungcheongbuk-Do province, according to prosecutors.

Bang worked at the department for more than two decades. The crimes occurred from 2010 to 2016, feeding Bang’s gambling addiction, prosecutors said.

Part of Bang’s sentence includes paying $6.7 million in restitution to Montgomery County and $2.3 million to the Internal Revenue Service, though the county only expects to receive $1 million.

In a civil lawsuit filed in county Circuit Court by the County Attorney’s Office, Bang, his wife and several associates and organizations are accused of fraud, conspiracy and unjust enrichment, among other charges.

An attorney for the county did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday morning. The county has asked for a jury trial.

Bang’s wife Youn Hee Jung, her cousin Young Ja Pack, Bang’s friend Jin Nee Noh, accountant Samuel Kim, Bang’s funnel company Chungbuk Incubator Fund, Kim’s company Korus Group Inc. and Jung’s company J and Y Remnant LLC were all named as defendants.

The suit lists 11 counts in all, and requests at least $450,000 in punitive and compensatory damages, as well as all property that was obtained with the county’s money and for the defendants to “fully and completely account for all County money stolen by the Defendants.”

Online court records did not list attorney information for any of the defendants as of Monday morning.

Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said following the sentencing in the criminal case that the county “will never see $5 million from this guy,” and any restitution will be “pennies on the dollar.”

Charlie Wright can be reached at charlie.wright@bethesdamagazine.com