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Real Estate Scam Using Adoption Fraud Busted

Posted March. 25, 2008 19:25,   


A street vendor, identified only as “Kim,” visited a loan shark in July last year to seek emergency funds. But what awaited him was a seemingly lucrative offer.

The loan shark, identified as “Bang,” offered 10 million won (10,000 U.S. dollars) if Kim pretended to put up his two young daughters for adoption.

After thinking about it for a couple of days, Kim accepted and waived his rights to his daughters. A street cleaner “Choi” then adopted the two and applied to buy a luxury condominium in Incheon under the guise of having three minor dependents without a house. Choi scored highly in the application process and obtained the right to purchase the unit in November last year.

The loan shark then paid Choi a commission and had Choi resell his exclusive purchasing right to a third party through a real estate agent.

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency busted Bang and an adoption ring comprised of 14 members who allegedly raked in about half a million dollars through real estate and adoption fraud.

Authorities also charged 20 biological and 19 adoptive parents for accepting between two million and ten million won to help the ring.

The ringleader knew that housing law gives preferential privileges to a home applicant who has an adopted child. The con artists focused on recruiting parents of children under five years old since they get more favorable consideration.

That way, they illegally obtained the rights to buy 21 units in the Seoul metropolitan area and resold them to third parties, earning between 60 million and 90 million won per unit.

A police official said, “To adopt a child, all you need is a sheet of paper. Nobody checks authenticity in the application process. That’s why they could make a fortune.”