David Kim, a 43-year-old real estate broker was sentenced to three-to-nine years in prison for stealing $500,000 worth of valuables from an Upper West Side townhouse that he had sold just eight months earlier. Officially, Kim agreed to a deal that saw him plead guilty to grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, forgery and two counts of identity theft.
In December 2012, Kim brokered the sale of the $7.6 million townhouse to art dealer Tina Kim (no relation) and her husband, Jae Chung – a sale that likely awarded him a hefty six-figure commission.
But that wasn’t enough for Kim, who was rumoured to be battle drug and gambling addictions.
In August 2013, when his past clients were vacationing in the Hamptons, Kim decided to break into the home. Over several trips to the property over a 72-hour period, he made off with rare statues and portraits, expensive handbags, cigar boxes and even a humidifier. Kim used the property’s service entrance to avoid detection. The locks on the property were also not changed, allowing him easy access into the home.
Kim later hung the stolen paintings in his own home, where the rest of the stolen valuables were later found.
Don’t think he’ll be doing much selling or stealing in the slammer!
Many real estate agents make a successful career through repeat business, but one industry player in Manhattan found a disgraceful way to squeeze even more cash from his past clients.