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Fort Lee Bank Official From Englewood Cliffs Admits Embezzling $1M+

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

FORT LEE, N.J. -- A former Fort Lee bank official from Englewood Cliffs admitted in federal court in Newark on Tuesday that she embezzled more than $1 million.

Miye Chon, 36 — also known as Karen Chon — admitted making a series of unauthorized transfers from customers’ CDs into the BankAsiana vault cash account and then walking out with the money over the course of several years.

Chon, who was the bank's assistant vice president at the time, pleaded guilty to three counts of a superseding grand jury indictment charging her with bank fraud, embezzling or misapplying funds and aggravated identity theft.

A judge scheduled sentencing for June 29.

Dozens of illegal transfers typically went for tens of thousands of dollars at a time, although one was for $100,000, the indictment alleged.

After BankAsiana was acquired in October 2013, officials launched an internal investigation in response to a customer’s complaint about tax forms and account records, U.S. Attorney Paul S. Fishman said.

They found that Chon accessed BankAsiana’s computer systems using her credentials to make the transfers, he said.

She avoided detection to that point “by making false entries in the bank’s records and ensuring that funds she removed from CDs were transferred back into those accounts before they were set to reach maturity,” Fishman said.

Fishman praised special agents of the FBI’s Newark Field Office for their work on the case, which is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul A. Murphy of Fishman’s Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

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