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Woman Charged In Korean Dating Website Scams Pleads Not Guilty

IRVINE (CBS) — A Koreatown woman accused of conning multiple men she met through a Korean dating website pleaded not guilty Thursday to grand theft.


KNX 1070's Mike Landa Reports

Sunmee Kim was arrested Tuesday on arrest warrants out of Los Angeles County and Garden Grove, Irvine police Lt. Julia Engen said.

Kim pleaded not guilty to grand theft and grand theft with a firearm, both felonies, according to court records.

Kim is accused of meeting men through, a dating website, cultivating a relationship with them and then at some point forcing a confrontation and alleging domestic violence, Engen said.

While the man is occupied, Kim allegedly robs the victim's home and flees, Engen said.

Irvine police will soon present more evidence to Orange County prosecutors on identity theft, false imprisonment by proxy, forgery, burglary and other crimes, Engen said.

In the Irvine case, Kim called police and falsely alleged that a 44-year-old Irvine businessman had attacked her, Engen said. The man was arrested, but charges have since been dropped, Engen added.

A patrol officer investigating the allegations grew suspicious when Kim could not produce an identification card, Engen said. When he returned for further questions, she produced a phony ID card, so the officer took her fingerprints and left, Engen said.

The fingerprints led to a match for Sunmee Kim, who was wanted in Garden Grove on an arrest warrant for grand theft, but by the time the officer returned Kim had fled, Engen said.

Police tracked Kim down in Koreatown in Los Angeles, Engen said.

Kim was also wanted on a warrant for grand theft out of Los Angeles, Engen said. In that case, Kim is accused of trying to get "ransom" money out of her victim by claiming she had been kidnapped and assaulted, Engen said.

In the Garden Grove case, Kim is accused of filing a false report of attempted robbery against a man she had met through, Engen said. While the man was in custody she stole belongings from him in his house, but she left some of her DNA behind as evidence, Engen said.

Kim allegedly falsely reported to police in Orange in August that another man she had met through the dating website and his family had kidnapped and assaulted her, Engen said.

Kim eluded authorities while the victims were in custody and she took financial documents and paperwork with personal information in the meantime, Engen said.

Kim is also accused of striking up a friendship with a woman and stealing her possessions and identifying information in Irvine, Engen said.

When Kim was arrested she was staying with a Korean woman she had met a few days earlier, Engen said. Kim allegedly told the woman she was recovering from cancer, Engen said.

Authorities suspect Kim was trying to steal the woman's identity, Engen said.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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