Jonathan Chang Convicted Of Embezzling More Than $7.5 Million In Donated Funds
Jonathan Chang misappropriated religious donations and church funds
SAN JOSE – A federal jury convicted Jonathan Chang of four counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. The verdict follows a four-week trial before the Honorable Edward J. Davila, United States District Judge.
The evidence at trial demonstrated that Jonathan Chang, 63, of Cupertino, Calif., engaged in a scheme to defraud a wealthy donor of money intended to support the Home of Christ 4 Christian Church (HOC4), located in Saratoga, Calif. Chang, who served as an “elder” responsible for managing the finances of the church, furthered his scheme by establishing charitable organizations with names similar to the church. He then directed more than $6 million from the donor to his own organizations rather than to the HOC4. In addition, Chang embezzled approximately $900,000 from HOC4-related bank accounts in his scheme to defraud.
The jury concluded that Chang solicited funds from the wealthy donor for the stated purpose of acquiring a new HOC4 building (church house) and purported missionary work. In response to Chang’s requests, the donor provided $2.25 million in one-time donations, a $3 million loan to acquire the new building, and approximately $1.5 million total in monthly donations. Chang did not use the funds as directed and authorized by the donor. Instead, he commonly used the funds for personal enrichment. For example, Chang used the funds to buy a number of houses in the Bay Area, purchase luxury vehicles, obtain 15 timeshare interests, invest in commercial real estate, and pay for his health insurance and athletic club dues. The evidence also showed that Chang purchased a home in Fremont with the donor’s funds and then leased the house to one of the donor’s companies, thereby collecting rent on a house that was purchased with funds the donor earmarked for religious purposes. Similarly, Chang purchased another home with donor funds that were designated for religious purposes but ultimately rented the home to one of his children. In total, between 2004 and January 2016, Chang obtained more than $7.5 million in funds from the donor and HOC4.
Chang also concealed the proceeds of his scheme to defraud by committing money laundering. The evidence at trial demonstrated Chang created fraudulent entities to conceal the wire fraud scheme and forwarded the funds to a variety of other bank accounts he controlled before spending the money on personal purchases.
On February 4, 2016, a federal grand jury indicted Chang and his wife, Grace Chang, 60, charging each with one count of conspiracy to commit wire or mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349; four counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343; one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h); and three counts of money laundering, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 1956(a). The jury found Jonathan Chang guilty of all the wire fraud and money laundering counts. The jury did not reach a verdict as to the two charged conspiracy counts, nor did the jury reach a verdict as to the counts filed against Grace Chang.
Jonathan Chang faces a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 for each violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343. He also face a maximum of 20 years imprisonment and fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the laundered funds, whichever is greater, for each violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(B). Additional periods of supervised release, fines and restitution may apply. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Jonathan and Grace Chang are scheduled to appear before Judge Davila on September 17, 2019, for a status conference.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick R. Delahunty and Sarah E. Griswold are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Susan Kreider. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI.
NOTICE: All persons depicted are presumed to be innocent unless proven to be guilty in a court of law. The fugitive.com and fugitivewatch.com notations appearing on this are TRADEMARKS and NOT an expression of fact or opinion.
AVISO: Todas las personas representadas son presumidas de ser inocente a menos que resultara culpable en un tribunal de justicia. Fugitive.com y fugitivewatch.com anotaciones que aparecen en este sitio son MARCAS REGISTRADAS y NO una expresión de hecho o de opinión.
COMMENT ADVISEMENT: We welcome your thoughts, but for the sake of all readers, please refrain from the use of obscenities, personal attacks or racial slurs. All comments are subject to our terms of service and may be removed. Repeat offenders may lose commenting privileges.
AVISO DE COMENTARIO: Damos la bienvenida a tus pensamientos, pero por el bien de todos los lectores, por favor abstenerse de la utilización de obscenidades, ataques personales o insultos racistas. Todos los comentarios están sujetos a nuestros términos y condiciones del servicio, y podrá ser retirado. Reincidentes pueden perder privilegios comentar.
Fugitive Watch was founded in 1992 by two San Jose police officers, Steve Ferdin and Scott Castruita. Fugitive Watch is a reality-based television show, newspaper and website, fugitive.com. We can also be found on social media such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The mission of Fugitive Watch is to make Your community safer by helping law enforcement fight crime. Fugitive Watch brings the community, local business, and law enforcement together to solve crimes, apprehend wanted fugitives and provide education and crime prevention information to the community.
Business and private sponsorship help Fugitive Watch empower the community to strike back at crime from the safety of their living rooms. Fugitive Watch has been credited by law enforcement with over several 1000 crimes solved or fugitives apprehended. Fugitive Watch also helps improve the safety of police officers by locating fugitives for law enforcement so they can more safely arrest them rather than unexpectedly running across them through extremely dangerous routine “chance encounters”. As law enforcement officers know all too well, These “chance encounters” have resulted in countless officer injuries and deaths.