After Fraud, Solar Company Eyes Doctor’s Condo

PHILADELPHIA (CN) – A solar company that won more than $2 million in damages from a well-connected Korean attorney now claims in a federal complaint that the lawyer’s doctor-daughter helped divert assets.

Philadelphia surgeon Jennifer Chung is the sole defendant named in the complaint filed on July 6 in the Eastern District of Philadelphia.

Chung is the daughter, according to the complaint, of Tong Soo Chung, a lawyer who plaintiff Jes Solar Co. Ltd. says fraudulently induced it to enter into contracts for “bogus solar power plant construction in California, Nevada and Arizona.”

Though now defunct, South Korea-based Jes Solar brought a federal complaint five years ago in Arizona against Matinee Energy, where Tong Soo Chung worked as CEO of the company’s East Asia region.

As credited in Chung’s profile with the Korean law firm Yulchon, Chung headed three U.S. Department of Commerce trade programs in the International Trade Administration during the Clinton administration from 1994 to 2001.

Jes Solar says lawyer Chung and others made it think that Matinee was developing a $5 billion solar power plants in the United States, poised to be the largest in the world, and that Jes could get in on the project, earning profits of 7 percent, by making advance-fee payments.

“The Matinee project was a complete fraud scheme,” however, according to the complaint, which is accompanied by several exhibits, including a 2016 judgment in the Arizona civil case that holds Matinee, Chung and several other individuals and entities jointly and severally liable in the amount of $2.8 million to Jes and related entities.

Jes brought the complaint in Pennsylvania with those entities, Airpack Co. Ltd. and Hankook Technology Inc., described in the complaint as part of the consortium that participated in the Matinee project.

Though the Matinee judgment became final only last year, Jes says Hankook uncovered the fraudulent nature of the Matinee scheme back in 2010.

Recognizing the very real threat of multimillion lawsuits, according to the complaint, “the Chungs grew gravely concerned about their financial wellbeing.”

Jes says those concerns led the Chungs to concoct an asset-protection scheme to evade his creditors.

“Mrs. Chung has participated in these efforts by assisting in and receiving conveyances of [her father’s] the Debtor’s assets for no or less than adequate consideration, thereby placing them beyond the reach of creditors of the debtor,” the complaint states.

“To fulfill the same purpose of the wrongful asset protection plan, the Chungs have transferred the Debtor’s funds or assets to Ms. Chung for no consideration.”

Jes says Dr. Chung admitted to as much in 2014 deposition for the Arizona case, testifying that her parents financially supported her for years, including buying her the Philadelphia condominium where she was living at the time.

A transcript of the deposition is included as yet another exhibit to the Pennsylvania complaint.

Though Dr. Chung declined to answer questions in the deposition about the value of the Fitzwater Street condo she bought in 2013, another exhibit included by Jes is a report by Redfin that says the one-bedroom unit sold in July that year for $240,000.

Jes says the evidence belies Chung’s testimony in the Arizona litigation that the claims had left him “financially ruined.”

A 2015 transcript from the Arizona bench trial where that quotation appears is also included as an exhibit to the new case.

Jes, Airpack and Hankook seek damages for two counts of fraudulent transfer. They are represented by Kay Kyungsun of Ahmad Zaffarese. Representatives from the firm did not return a call requesting comment.

Dr. Chung has not returned a request for comment left with her medical office. Her father’s law firm has also not returned a request for comment.

U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson is presiding over the case.

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