Federal Way

Father-daughter team accused of perpetrating massive fraud

Father-daughter team accused of perpetrating massive fraud
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- Federal Way police believe a father-and-daughter team is behind what they call a "bold and elaborate scheme" to steal a house and several cars.

Police have arrested the father, 53-year-old Steve Cho, for three other thefts, and all of them are high-ticket items.

Cho is accused of using fraud, theft and forgery to secure big-ticket items, including a $650,000 Federal Way home. The house was on the market, but the owner was out of town.

"He was able to pay a certain amount of excise taxes and get his name on the deed. That was allegedly done with fraudulent checks," said Cathy Shrock of the Federal Way Police Department.

With the deed but no house keys, police say Cho actually called them demanding they help him get inside. Officers told him to call a locksmith.

"As he was waiting for locksmith to turn the locks over, the victim's daughter drove by checking on the home and saw he was inside," Schrock said.

Neighbor Mike Rutland noticed the commotion after the daughter called police.

"There was police here in the driveway, a car over here and a cop car in my friend's driveway, and there was just a bevy of activity going on over there," Rutland said.

Cho was arrested and released, but it took less than two weeks for police to catch up with him again.

"On March 13 we received a LoJack hit on a new Mercedes worth $84,000 near his residence," Shrock said.

Police seized the Mercedes and a 2013 Infinity, both of which were allegedly purchased with fraudulent checks. Investigators also say Cho scammed a Moneytree check cashing business out of $12,000.

Police are also investigating Cho's 16-year-old daughter.

"It is a concern to all of us and we want this fraud to stop," Schrock said.