In 2004, Markus Min Ho Kim's foster parents defrauded him out of $400,000 -- money he received as the beneficiary of his murdered mother's life insurance policy. They apparently convinced him to put the money into CDs, then took off and effectively left him in the lurch:
Before his mother died, she took out a life insurance policy worth nearly $500,000. Kim was the beneficiary, but he could not tap into the proceeds until he turned 18.Like I said, shady. But Kim is getting all the money back -- $410,000 plus fines -- and his former foster parents, the Oropezas, were each convicted on fraud charges last October. This guy has had to deal with a lot of awful stuff in his life. Now that this is behind him, I hope he can move on. More here: Man Recovers $409,662 From Former Davenport Foster Parents.
Kim was 18 by the time the Oropezas flew him to Florida in 2005. They took him to a bank and convinced him to buy two certificates of deposit with $400,000 from the insurance policy.
They told him the CDs would protect his money and that he would earn $1,000 a month just from the interest. Kim would later say his foster mother signed the documents, too. He thought she was there to help.
But after a few months, the interest checks stopped coming. Kim called the bank and eventually found out the CDs had been closed.
What federal prosecutors would later say: The Oropezas withdrew large amounts of money from the certificates of deposit and spent it on real estate investment properties. Kim's name was forged on the documents.
U.S. Attorney Robert O'Neill told a judge last year that the couple told authorities that they believed Kim was too young to handle that much money.
"They stated at the time the housing market was good," O'Neill said, "and they took it upon themselves to invest Kim's money for him without his knowledge."