Queens man pleads guilty to stealing $390K from Port Washington company

Seul Han and Hyun Joon Kim. (Courtesy of the Nassau County District Attorney's office)

A Queens man pleaded guilty on Friday to stealing more than $390,000 from a Port Washington-based cosmetics company, according to the Nassau County district attorney’s office.

Seul Han pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the second degree and falsifying business records in the first degree. Han is due back in court on June 15 and is expected to be sentenced to one year in jail with five years’ probation and will be ordered to pay restitution, according to the district attorney’s office.

His co-defendant, Hyun Joon Kim, pleaded guilty to the same charges on March 26. He was sentenced to six months in jail with five years’ probation and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $195,097.50.

“These defendants used their place of employment as their personal piggybanks to the tune of more than $390,000,” District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement. “Thanks to the diligence of company officials and the hard work of our prosecutors these scam artists will now be forced to pay back what they stole.”

According to Singas, Han served as the logistics manager of Kiss Products Inc., located at 57 Seaview Blvd. in Port Washington. In that position, he oversaw the import of items such as nail, eyelash and hair care products.

He allegedly stole $380,195 from the company between July 28, 2014, and March 18, 2016, by having the company pay for products that were never ordered or received. Han covered his tracks with approximately 100 falsified documents consisting of invoices, bills, commercial invoices and packing lists, according to the district attorney’s office.

The checks for these fictitious products were made payable to Keum Sang USA, the principal of which was Hyun Joon Kim, who was in on the scheme and created many of the false documents. According to the district attorney, Kim allegedly deposited the checks he received from Han and the proceeds were split 60/40 percent, with Kim receiving the larger share.

Han and Kim allegedly used the stolen money for credit card purchases, vacations, airline travel, computer equipment, an automobile lease and household expenses.

The district attorney said that the scheme was discovered when Han returned from leave with Kiss Products and allegedly presented his employer with a forged doctor’s note allowing him to return. When he was confronted about the note, Han resigned. Shortly thereafter, a review of his work by Kiss led to the discovery of invoices for the fictitious product purchases, upon which the company conducted an audit to determine the amount that was stolen.

Efforts to reach Kiss Products for comment were unavailing.

According to Bloomberg, the company was founded in 1989 and manufactures and sells a variety of beauty care products that are sold by retailers worldwide.

About the author

Luke Torrance

Luke Torrance is a reporter for Blank Slate Media covering the Port Washington area.
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