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Irvine Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing From Nonprofit

Irvine Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing From Nonprofit

A Buena Park Police Officer responds to an emergency in Buena Park, Calif., on Jan. 15, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

City News Service

City News Service

11/30/2023

Updated: 11/30/2023

FULLERTON, Calif.–A 58-year-old Irvine man pleaded guilty Nov. 29 and was immediately sentenced to a year in jail for embezzling nearly $145,000 from a Buena Park-based nonprofit.
Kwang Lee pleaded guilty to three counts of grand theft by embezzlement with sentencing enhancements for property damage exceeding $65,000 and aggravated white-collar crime between $100,000 and $500,000.
Mr. Lee stole the money from the Seoul High School Association of Southern California, according to Buena Park police.
Mr. Lee was appointed president of the association in 2018. On Jan. 26, 2019, he “abruptly withdrew approximately $110,000 from a one-year CD owned by the Seoul High School Association,” Buena Park police Detective D. Pantoja said in court papers.
“Lee forged documents allowing him to control and break the CD early,” Mr. Pantoja wrote. “Lee used the money for personal use.”
The defendant admitted to the nonprofit’s treasurer that he took the money and he was given about three months to pay it back, but failed to do so, Mr. Pantoja said.
Mr. Lee was ordered to pay $144,467.78 in restitution with 10 percent interest. He gave authorities a $10,000 check toward that amount Nov. 29, according to court records.
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