Ex-Montgomery County official embezzled $6.7M from taxpayers, blew it gambling, prosecutors say

A former Montgomery County official has pleaded guilty after prosecutors said he embezzled more than $6.7 million from taxpayers.

Byung "Peter" Bang, who was the Chief Operating Officer for the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development from 2010 to 2016, orchestrated an elaborate scheme to embezzle money from the county, authorities stated.

Investigators said the 59-year-old helped a company called Chungbuk Incubator Fund LLC to be incorporated in Maryland in July 2010 and four bank accounts were opened in the name of the company, but he listed his home address as the address for the company. Bang used the company and the bank accounts to have the county issue checks to the company, but he was in control of the funds, according to officials.

In all, prosecutors said he made off with more than $6.7 million.

Bang has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and making false statements on his tax returns. He is required to pay back all the money as part of his plea agreement but Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy said Bang gambled away nearly all of the $6.7 million. McCarthy said taxpayers have only recovered a second home that Bang had invested in.

Bang faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud, and three years in prison for making false statements on his tax returns, according to officials.

He was scheduled to be sentenced in federal court on Feb. 22, 2019.