JUPITER, Fla. (WSVN) – A Florida man has been imprisoned in a South Korea jail after his son said he was tricked by a fraudulent company.
Kent Malinowski’s father was allegedly conned by a company, and now he’s trying to get his dad home for the holidays.
The scheme appears to be an elaborate attempt to trick a retired financial expert.
Malinowski said he didn’t even know that his father, Julius Malinowski, was traveling overseas until he got a call from his brother. “My brother called me and said, ‘Dad has been arrested. He’s in South Korea in jail.'”
He said that he thought it was a joke, but he later received a call from the U.S. Embassy that confirmed his father had been arrested on fraud charges and was awaiting trial in a South Korean prison.
“I never thought, in a million years, something like this would happen,” Malinowski said.
Wanting answers, he launched his own investigation since he couldn’t contact his father directly. “We were able to create a timeline and track him through his credit card receipts,” Malinowski said.
From his research, he discovered that his father was exchanging e-mails with someone who claimed to work for North Carolina bank, BB&T.
According to Malinowski, his dad is a retired vice president for the Federal Reserve and was interested in part-time work again in the banking industry. “They did a job interview,” he said. “They came and met with him. They played golf with him.”
The supposed bank sent business cards and an employment contract to Julius, but they were all fake.
They sent him on a bogus business trip to Australia and then to South Korea. That’s where he was arrested while meeting with a supposed client.
Malinowski can now only communicate with his father through handwritten notes. His father’s South Korea lawyer then photographs them and emails them over.
The Malinowskis are now furious and just want the whole thing to be resolved quickly. “We think that they knew that about Dad,” Malinowski said. “They targeted him, and they used that to their advantage to convince him that this was a legitimate deal.”
The 79-year-old is said to be doing well despite kidney problems. His family hopes the South Korean judge will believe he was nothing more than the victim of an elaborate scam and should be released.
Malinowski is hopeful his dad will be back for the holidays. “Here is dad’s plate setting,” he said. “We’re going to leave it empty until he comes home for Christmas.”
Time is running out for a holiday release. Court dates have yet to be scheduled.
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