A man and his girlfriend were arrested in Corona Tuesday on suspicion of defrauding sixty fellow Korean-Americans out of $8 million in purported investments, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced.
Euirang Hwang, 36, and Sang Yi, 39, were picked on for alleged federal wire fraud. Hwang was the founder and chairman of Pinupito Inc., an Irvine-based investment firm. Yi, secretary and president of the company, allegedly had control over its finances. The pair were originally based in Harbor City, federal officials said.
Federal authorities alleged in an indictment that the pair told investors they could generate annual returns of 45 percent by buying small Korean concerns, expanding them and then flipping them for a profit.
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Hwang was represented as a billionaire with successful Korean holdings, officials said.
Hwang and Yi targeted Korean-Americans at Korean-language church services.
But the cash the duo raised was used to pay for luxury cars, personal items and returns to those investors who wanted out.
Each defendant could see 80 years behind bars if convicted.