Monday, May 13, 2013

Government Petitions to Dismiss Charges in Korean Currency Case

Prosecutors in Detroit, Michigan on Friday moved to dismiss the receiving and transporting stolen property charges against Wong Young Youn.  Earlier this year it was reported that the defendant was cooperating with authorities in the Korean currency plate case as officials pursued similar charges against Midwest Auction Galleries owner James Amato. Now U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade (right) seeks to dismiss Youn's case without prejudice.

A defendant is presumed innocent unless the prosecution proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt

Police arrested the pair for their alleged role in the possession and sale of an 1893 Hojo currency plate, claimed by prosecutors to be stolen from Korea and to be one of only three plates in existence. The government has not yet cited the legal authority that supports Korea's ownership of the plate. Details of the two year investigation can be found in a prior January 2013 blog post.

Prosecutors write in last weeks' court filing that they require additional time to prepare the case in order
(1) to develop and obtain evidence sufficient to establish defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt;  
(2) to investigate the full extent of the offense(s) in question and identify all other individuals who should be held criminally responsible for the offense(s); or 
(3) to decide whether criminal prosecution of defendant for the offense(s) in question is in the public interest.
The dismissal of Youn's case would leave Amato as the only one charged in the pending in the case. A dismissal without prejudice, nevertheless, would allow the government to reinstate criminal charges against Youn at a future date.

[UPDATE May 22, 2013:  The court on May 13, 2013 granted the dismissal of the charge without prejudice.]

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