Every year, millions of people search the Internet’s most popular dating sites looking for love. Now, not everyone will find a match on a site like e-Harmony or Match.com, but thankfully there are options out there for those seeking a more specific type of partner.
Of course, putting yourself out there on the Internet also opens you up to the perils of prevarication. Lies and “Catfishing” run rampant on even the most reputable of sites, so when you find someone you can trust, it means a lot. When that trust is also born of lies and betrayal however…
The police had been called to answer a domestic disturbance at a Palo Alto, California home. The girl on the phone was beside herself. She didn’t want to give her name or show her identification when the police arrived, but even a cursory examination proved her boyfriend had indeed been attacking her.
For his part, the “boyfriend” tried to explain to the officers that the two were not romantically involved at all. They were not engaged to be married, they hadn’t even dated, they were only housemates. It was definitely a contrasting opinion to the complainants, but that wasn’t uncommon…
Arrest and Robbery
Erring on the side of caution, the police arrested the man and took him into custody. Kim, the man’s fiance, refused medical treatment and was left home to recover from her ordeal. When the man was released for lack of evidence less than a day later, he came home to a most unwelcome sight.
Following the man’s arrest, the police had already begun to suspect that Kim had lied to them about the whole alleged incident. A fraud detective was brought in to investigate her and they soon learned that this type of behavior seemed very similar to a case that happened in Mountain View, California sometime earlier. They couldn’t prove it though until the man called them back…
Picked the Bones
Unbeknownst to the investigating officers and the befuddled boyfriend, Kim had spent her time “recovering” by cleaning out the apartment the two of them shared. She hit the road soon after, but was eventually spotted and picked up by the Palo Alto police. It was only once they had her in custody, they learned the truth.
Police in Palo Alto discovered that their fellow officers in Mountain View, California, were already conducting an investigation into a woman named Sunmee Kim. Once they had her in custody, the Palo Alto officers called Mountain View, a city 400 miles north, to tell them that they’d caught their culprit. And what a culprit she was…
What Sunmee Kim was, beyond everything else, was a terrible human being. She also happened to be a parole violator and had not been allowed to leave Mountain View. She seemed to have forgotten that fact when she moved to Palo Alto, 400 miles away, and took up with another man.
Sunmee Kim had been like many other single people out there. She was alone, in her early 40’s and looking for love in all the wrong places. As a Korean, she wanted to find others like herself, to find people who could share in her heritage. Luckily for her, she discovered a Korean dating site, KoreanCupid.com…
Arrested on Suspicion
One of the fellow Korean singles that Sunmee Kim met was a man named Deukman Lee. The two hit it off right away. Mr. Lee was a businessman and was fairly well off. He was the perfect pigeon for what would become Ms. Kim’s modus operandi. Sunmee would come to accuse Lee of violence towards her.
They were together for only a little while before Ms. Kim called the police on him. She told the authorities a similar story to the one she told in Palo Alto, that Lee had attacked her and tried to rob her. Then, once he was safely in police custody, she set to work at stealing all his valuable belongings…
Release and Repeat
Thanks to the police recognizing some glaring inconsistencies in her story, Deukman Lee was released less than a day later. Unfortunately, he was also served a restraining order which barred him from returning to his own home. It was during that time, Kim set to work stealing as much as she could.
He eventually was allowed to return home after Kim had fled, but he found his place ransacked and stripped of everything valuable, including a large amount of cash. He would eventually turn his ire for Ms. Kim towards the city of Irvine when he sued them for $150,000. As for Sunmee Kim, she was far from done…
Not Her First Rodeo
This fraud, which happened in 2011, along with several others in 2013, might not have been her first foray into this sort of thing either. It seemed that Sunmee Kim’s life as a conwoman can be traced back to 2009 when she reportedly faked her own kidnapping while living in LA. Her reason for this was so that she could shake down her current beau for the fake ransom money.
Sunmee’s life as a conwoman also had her using a number of false identities as well. These fake names included: Sunny Jean Kim, Jean Kim, Jiin and Ashley Kim, and possibly many more. These were the names she gave on KoreanCupid.com and many were the names she gave to the police when reporting the alleged assaults. Eventually, though, all her misdeeds caught up to her…
Her crimes are myriad, but more than just the actual criminal nature of the crimes, it’s the callousness that strikes most people the most. Kim didn’t care about the men she was using, not about their feelings or their desperation. All she cared about was using and abusing the trust of these already lonely men to further her own felonious ends.
“She was sentenced in Orange County for almost the exact same crime and then she disappeared for about five years,” said police spokesperson Katie Nelson. “This isn’t something that happened out of happenstance. We’re thinking her (modus operandi) is pretty prolific.” She’d gotten away with it before and fled the city, which added parole violation to the charges…
After the incident in Palo Alto, the Mountain View police have tracked her down and brought her in. They are currently working with Santa Clara County prosecutors to determine what kind of criminal charges they should file against her. The list, once completed will no doubt be an expansive one indeed.
After the incident in Palo Alto, police caught up to Sunmee. She plead guilty to eight counts of false imprisonment, four counts of first-degree burglary, two counts of grand theft, and one count of identity theft. She was sentenced to four years in state prison, but it could be more if the police find more victims…
Police believe that there are many other victims out there and that they haven’t come forward for fear of the embarrassment, the shame they’d feel if the world knew they’d been had. What they need to remember is that she is the one at fault and if they do come forward, they are only ensuring that Ms. Kim never gets the chance to repeat the crime…again.
Abuse of Trust
Sunmee Kim’s abuse of trust just goes to show that you have to be very careful when internet dating. I mean, you have to be careful dating at all, but the age of the Internet has added an additional tool to those wishing to use others for their own gain. Still, it doesn’t mean you can’t trust or even find love, just be careful out there.