Feb 21
2011

John J. Kim, a Maryland resident who was part of a Texas-based scam to sell supposedly high-yielding European notes, pleaded guilty Feb. 21 in Collin County state District Court to engaging in organized criminal activity.

Kim was sentenced to 10 years in state prison.

Kim was part of a scheme organized by Thomas Lester Irby, a Frisco money manager who convinced about 30 investors to put $3.1 million into fictitious "European Mid-Term Notes" issued by European banks.

The notes supposedly paid short-term returns of between 10% and 50%. Most of the money from investors was diverted to pay Irby's personal expenses and to pay early investors in what turned out to be a Ponzi scheme. Irby was sentenced to 24 years in state prison on Dec. 20.