The fraudulent activities of Jeon Cheong-jo, who announced that former national fencing representative Nam Hyun-hee would remarry, were revealed one after another, causing an uproar in Korea. Even though he has been criminally punished for at least seven frauds, circumstances are revealing that he used Nam’s fame to seek new frauds. Mr. Jeon is not the only one who repeatedly attempts fraud. Laws that are lenient on small-amount fraud and a system that does not hold people accountable for redressing damages have been pointed out as factors that allow repeat offenders to run rampant.
According to the legal community on the 28th, the Incheon District Court sentenced Jeon Cheong-jo, who was indicted on separate fraud charges in May and October 2020, to two years and eight months in prison, respectively. The appellate court held in December of the same year, after reviewing the cases together, overturned the original judgment and sentenced him to two years and three months. He was put on trial on charges of receiving and embezzling 290 million won from 10 victims between April 2018 and January 2020. Jeon Cheong-jo’s history of fraud known to date is at least 7 times.
As Mr. Jeon’s case becomes known, countless questions are being raised, such as ‘How could a person with at least 7 previous fraud convictions easily seek to reoffend?’ and ‘The claim seems flimsy at first glance, but how was he able to deceive people?’
A fraudster who commits repeat offenses… Punishment with a soft bat and no compensation for damages
It is not uncommon for someone like Jeon to seek recidivism after serving time in prison on fraud charges. In 2019, Mr. A said to a victim in Hwacheon-gun, Gangwon-do, ‘Give me the tractor you were using previously, and if you pay 3 million won per year for 5 years, I will give you a new tractor next spring.’ However, Mr. A did not have the intention or ability to supply a new tractor. Mr. A had 13 similar criminal convictions, but was only sentenced to a fine of 10 million won for this tractor fraud.
Mr. B, who was caught in Gwangju in October last year on charges of running away without paying for alcohol or food (habitual fraud), shocked the local community when it was revealed that he had 100 criminal convictions. Mr. B has been sentenced to 6 months in prison, 2 years in prison, or a fine for each fraud case. Nevertheless, he committed his fraud again and is currently on trial. According to the Supreme Court’s sentencing guidelines, the standard for general fraud is 6 months to 1
year and 6 months if the fraud amount is less than 100 million won, and 1 to 4 years if the fraud amount is less than 100 million to 500 million won. Even if a crime is committed repeatedly, the maximum sentence is only 2 years and 6 months if the fraud amount is less than 100 million won, and 2 years and 6 months to 6 years if the fraud amount is less than 100 million to 500 million won . In cases where the amount of fraud is hundreds of thousands to tens of millions of won, there are many cases where fines are imposed. They are not held responsible for reimbursing damages such as investment fraud. This is one of the reasons why convicts with fraud convictions plan other frauds again. According to the National Police Agency, the amount of fraud damage over the five years from 2017 to June 2021 was approximately 121 trillion won, of which the recovered amount was 6.5 trillion won, or 5.3%. A police officer in charge of investigating fraud said, “Most cases do not have the ability to repay, and there are many fraudsters who deposit money during the trial or threaten to메이저사이트 be punished because they do not have money.”
A fraudster claiming to be famous and powerful… Some victims are lured by high profits
If criminals commit repeat offenses due to lack of punishment, why do victims fall for what appears at first glance to be a shabby scam?
In the legal world, it is said that it is common for people to let their guard down by relying on the name of a famous person. A common example is investment advertisements that feature famous celebrities and claim that high returns can be achieved by investing in platforms or non-fungible tokens ( NFTs ). Writer Kim Young-hyun, who has experience handling various criminal cases as a prosecutor’s investigator, said in his book ‘The Psychology of Deception’, “We do not respond well to unknown phone numbers or text messages, but we tend to let our guard down when we hear people we know.” “Only 12.7% of cases are affected,” he analyzed.
Pretending to be a conglomerate like Mr. Jeon and asserting authority that others may be interested in also clouds the victim’s ability to judge. Mr. Jeon claimed that he was a third generation chaebol and an executive of a global IT company. It was also alleged that he encouraged investment by showing an account with a deposit balance of 51 trillion won to residents of Signiel Seoul, the expensive residential facility where he lived. “Impersonating a trusted individual or authority figure is a common tactic used by scammers,” said Dr Kham Pung Cheong, a professor at the University of New South Wales Business School. He explained.
Even if the criminals’ explanations are somewhat questionable, it is said that there are many cases where people are deceived by the claim that ‘high profits are guaranteed’. A lawyer who served as chief judge said, “From what I’ve seen in trials, most cases are ‘high profits.’” He added, “I also want to invest and make money, but a good offer comes along so I hand over the money.” He added, “There are many cases where people invest for mutual benefit and then sue the other party.”
Lee Jeong-do, a lawyer at Chamdo Law Firm, said, “Fraud crimes should be focused on prevention, but it is not easy to establish a system after the fact.” He said, “Even if you invest, it is important to research and prevent in advance, such as by receiving advice from experts.” He added, “The court also provides an opportunity for repayment unless it is determined that deception was committed for the purpose of defrauding, and the level of punishment is lower compared to violent crimes. “It is best to prevent,” he emphasized.