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Annual Ripoffs and Rotters list revealed
The year is young yet so I wont forsake my annual listing of ripoffs and rotters.
These are people or agencies or whatever that were crooked or just plain rotten during the previous year.
Tacoma The pastor of the Hope Korean church was convicted of filing fraudulent visa applications for two men he said would be coming to the U.S. to work at his church.
Dong Wan Park, 52, accepted $47,000 from two Korean nationals in exchange for filing fraudulent visa applications, counterfeit seminary transcripts and certifications of ordination that claimed they were religious workers. He advertised in a Korean language newspaper that immigration visas were available through his church for up to $30,000.
Everett Caron Ann Rystrand, 48, a Marysville bookkeeper, was sentenced to nearly five years in prison after admitting to stealing nearly $250,000 by forging hundreds of her employers checks. She took the money after the owner of Stark Investment of Edmonds died. She apologized and said she learned her lesson. In 2001, she was convicted of stealing more than $60,000 from another employer.
Fort Lewis A 19-year Army veteran was sentenced to 45 months in jail for stealing $279,000 worth of military supplies. Staff Sgt. Arthur O. Smith III, 42, was one of 10 Fort Lewis soldiers who sold equipment to Mykel Loftus of Graham who then sold it online. Smith, who was responsible for ordering supplies, took knives, ammunition, global-positioning systems, meals-ready-to-eat, jackets, pants, light sticks and tool sets. He was introduced to Loftus by another soldier who said he could make easy money selling gear from Fort Lewis.
Vancouver Two brothers from Vancouver were sentenced to three years in prison for masterminding a scheme that relied on sham marriages to obtain visas for Vietnamese nationals. Loc Huu Nguyen, 40, and Phuoc Nguyen, 43, recruited young Americans to travel to Vietnam and enter into false engagements with Vietnamese women. The men were promised a free trip and as much as $10,000. The women paid $20,000 to $30,000 each. The conspiracy began in 2000 and was bared by a tip from a parent of one of the men.
Lynden Larry Steve Albert, 62, of Lynden got three years in prison for collecting the names and birth dates of deceased children and other people from cemetery headstones in as many as eight states over several decades. He used the information to obtain fake Social Security numbers which he used to open bank accounts from which he would write a string of bad checks and move on to the next identity and another city. His lawyer said he only did it to pay for the rearing of his seven children.
Seattle A brother and sister were arrested by the FBI on suspicion of bilking dozens of emergency room patients out of tens of thousands of dollars by stealing their credit card information. Yvon Herrings, who worked at Med Data, a company that does billing services for emergency room doctors, passed on the information to her brother Lennie who bought gift certificates on the Internet.
Kirkland Robert Morris Peak, 46, was sentenced to eight months in jail for stalking his estranged wife by accessing her e-mail account and hiding a telephone with a GPS tracking feature in her car. The phone came on when the ignition was switched on and could report the location as well as allowing the caller to hear what was happening inside the car. Police found Peak had keys to new locks his wife had purchased for her house and e-mail printouts of a spyware program.
Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, WA, 98340.