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Thursday, June 13, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Pastor Soaked Her for $400,000, Mother Says

HILLSBORO, Ore. (CN) - A pastor who runs a religious school defrauded a student's family of $400,000, claiming he could get the student a green card, the Korean mother claims in Washington County Court.

Eun Sook Kim says she paid $30,000 annual tuition to enroll her son in the Joy Academy, a private school run by Pilgrim Evangelical Lutheran Church in Beaverton, Ore. The church pastor, the Rev. Sang Woo Kim, charged her another $5,000 to be her son's educational guardian, according to the complaint.

By August 2009, the mother says, her family had paid the pastor $330,000, believing the money was going to the Joy Academy, and so the school could process her son's green card application.

The mother claims the Rev. Kim told her the money was needed to "enhance" the application with the Immigration and Nationalization Service.

By December 2009, the mother says, she had become suspicious, and asked the pastor to show her copies of the immigration documents and proof that the money had gone to the Joy Academy.

She claims that the Rev. Kim had not filed the application, and had deposited the money into his own account. She says the Rev. Kim signed a handwritten contract promising to repay the Kims by January 2010, but he hasn't done it.

Eun Sook Kim is represented by Thomas P. Walsh of Beaverton.

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