BUSAN (Yonhap News) ― A former U.S. diplomat was sentenced to two years in prison in South Korea on Thursday for swindling a Korean woman out of nearly $200,000 with false promises of lucrative investment opportunities in the Philippines.
A court in Busan handed the prison sentence to Dario Tomas, convicting the Filipino-American of charges that he defrauded the woman of 215 million won from 2007 to 2008, when he worked for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the southern port city.
Tomas, 52, told the victim that her money would be invested in establishing a computer school in the Philippines and the investment would give her a handsome return every month, according to the charges against him.
The court said in the verdict that a prison sentence was unavoidable because the case involved a large sum of money and the extorted money was never recovered.
Tomas, who fled South Korea in March last year while under investigation, was arrested in October at a casino in the Philippines. He was transferred to South Korea in November as the government in Manila handed his custody over to Seoul.
The U.S. has stripped Tomas of his diplomatic immunity at the request of South Korea.