Two men have been charged with conspiracy to commit extortion and attempted extortion of various Annandale businesses.
Han Sa Yu, 43, and Je Hyung Yoo, 29, have been charged with conspiracy to commit extortion, attempted extortion, and four counts of extortion. Yu and Yoo allegedly threatened and extorted money from "doumi," restaurants, and taxi business owners in Annandale, according to a news release from the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. According to the indictment, the extortion victims allegedly paid between $200 and $1,000 at a time and received threatening reminders each time another payment was due.
Both Yu and Yoo are alleged members of a Korean gang in Fairfax County called the Korean Night Breeders. The release states that Yu, a citizen of the Republic of Korea who is also a permanent resident of the United States and resident of Fairfax, is alleged to be the leader of the gang.
A criminal complaint, filed last month, states that “from around summer 2009 to around March 3, 2012, in the Eastern District of Virginia and elsewhere, the defendant, Je Hyung Yoo, also known as 'Justice,' and others, did knowingly combine, conspire, confederate, and agree to obstruct, delay, and affect commerce and the movement of any article and commodity in commerce, by robbery, extortion, and threats of physical violence to another person, and did commit an overt act in furtherance of this conspiracy.”
In an affidavit filed last month (see PDF at right), one extortion victim alleges he made monthly $500 payments to Yoo and his associates in order to operate his unlicensed Annandale taxi service without harm. The victim reported that he was attacked and beaten by Yoo and his associates in Annandale’s Seoul Plaza on Nov. 2, 2009 after failing to make several payments. The affidavit also lists another victim, a former restaurant owner, was told to pay "$200 to $300 per week for protection" and was threatened with violence if he did not pay.
The affidavit also states that Yoo, a citizen of the Republic of Korea and resident of Rockville, Md., entered the United States in 1993 and overstayed his immigrant visa. Yoo has been arrested four times in 2011 by Fairfax County police, according to the affidavit. On Jan. 16, 2011, Yoo was arrested for possession with intent to manufacture, sell or distribute a controlled substance. The affidavit states that he was convicted and sentenced to five years of imprisonment, with four years and nine months of the sentence suspended.
On March 17, 2011, he was arrested for assaulting a family member, but the case was not prosecuted. On July 16, 2011, he was arrested as a fugitive on a felony offense and extradited to Prince George's County in Maryland to face prosecution for credit card fraud and theft.
Yoo was last arrested on March 3, 2011 for burglary. The charges were dismissed after an ICE detainer was filed against him.
Each offense for the extortion charges carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison.