Man considered part of Korean crime group gets prison time in Las Vegas home invasion

A second defendant suspected of being part of a Korean organized crime group was sentenced in Las Vegas on Thursday to 10 years in federal prison for his role in a botched home invasion.

Korean-born Ki Chong Yoo, 59, who lives in Southern California, also was ordered to serve three years of supervised release when he gets out of prison.

Yoo, who is in federal custody, agreed to the prison time in his plea deal with Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Duncan, who Thursday described the 2009 home invasion in Las Vegas as a “violent” crime.

Speaking through an interpreter, Yoo apologized to U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey for his actions.

“I’m very shameful and I’m very sorry,” he said, adding he regretted what he did.

Yoo pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy and racketeering charges stemming from the attempted robbery. The victims were prominent members of the local Korean community.

His sentencing was delayed for months in his unsuccessful bid to withdraw his guilty plea.

In May 2012, another Korean-born defendant, Choon Bok Lee, 58, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in the scheme and ordered to undergo substance abuse treatment.

His lawyer, Chris Rasmussen, said at the time that Lee, also from Southern California, had a methamphetamine addiction and participated in the home invasion to obtain money to fuel his habit.

On Thursday, Yoo’s lawyer Chris Aaron told Dorsey that Yoo also has a drug addiction, and Dorsey ordered him to seek treatment in prison.

Yoo, Lee and a third defendant, Hyo Seong Kim, were charged in a six-count superseding indictment in February 2011 in a case handled by federal prosecutors who specialize in organized crime. Kim is at large.

The three men, looking for cash hidden in a safe, showed up in December 2009 at the Las Vegas home of a couple who own a Korean restaurant, according to court documents in the case.

A nanny let them inside, and they waited for the wife to come home. When she arrived, the intruders grabbed her, put a pillowcase over her head and ordered her to give them the code to the safe, the documents alleged.

The woman told the suspects she didn’t know the code, and she was ordered to persuade her husband to come home. When the husband arrived, the men struck him in the back of the head with a flashlight and then used a stun gun on him, the documents alleged.

In the confusion, the wife slipped out of the house and called police at a neighbor’s home. When the intruders learned she had escaped, they fled in a vehicle with California license plates.

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