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Friday, June 14, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Stuck by an Acupuncture School

FAIRFAX, Va. (CN) - An acupuncture school bilked a woman of nearly $500,000 by promising her ownership of its Virginia campus, after promising it to someone else, the woman claims in court.

Sunny Lee sued South Baylo University in Fairfax County Circuit Court, claiming it defrauded her by touting a campus and credentials that it never had.

Lee says she met with school officials Jason Shin and David Park in California in 2012 to discuss investing in and owning a Virginia campus. She claims Shin and Park told her the Virginia campus could accommodate more than 100 students and was a 501(c)(3) corporation.

"In fact, as of April 7, 2012, SBU-VA was not certified as a 501(c)(3) corporation; SBU-VA had not filed any tax returns during the previous years as a 501(c)(3) corporation; SBU-VA did not have zoning permit to allow for 100 students to attend SBU-VA campus; and, SBU already had an ongoing agreement with Heung Ki Park for operation and control of SBU-VA," Lee says in the lawsuit.

Lee claims she relied on the representations made by Shin and Park and gave them $100,000, and rang up another $371,500 in expenses.

"Money given and otherwise spent by Lee benefited SBU," she claims. "SBU directly benefited when Lee gave $100,000.00 to SBU. SBU further benefited when Lee spent over $371,571.00 in operation of SBU-VA."

The complaint adds: "On April 7, 2012, when April Agreement was entered, there were 12 students studying on SBU-VA campus. As of today, thanks to Lee's expenditures, SBU-VA has 30 students on its campus. Lee paid for advertising, instructions, and education materials out of her own pocket."

In addition, she claims she was never given control over the school's board of trustees, despite promises that the reins would be handed over to her.

According to the school's website, David Park founded the acupuncture and oriental medicine school. The school also offers courses in holistic science.

Lee demands $1.4 million in damages for fraud, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment.

She is represented by James Victory of Annandale, Va.

The only defendant is "South Baylo University, Jason Shin, R/A" [undefined], of Anaheim, Calif.

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