Former Montgomery Co. economic development official gets more jail time

A former Montgomery County official who was in charge of his department’s finances was sentenced Thursday to serve a total of 15 years in prison, after it was found that he stole more than $6.7 million from the county.

The circuit court judge went above the guidelines in sentencing Byung Il “Peter” Bang, a spokesman for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office said. The guidelines are probation to two years of executed jail time, but prosecutors argued that there were “compelling reasons to impose a sentence significantly above the guidelines,” according to a memo.

The judge ordered Bang taken straight into custody, The Washington Post reported.

Bang was the chief operating officer of the county’s Department of Economic Development, a job he was promoted to in 2010 and held until 2017. He was first employed by the county in 1997.

Bang created an entity called Chungbuk Incubator Fund LLC soon after he became the COO, and established bank accounts under that entity.

Prosecutors said that Bang used his job to make the company he made up as an approved vendor with the county and funneled more than $6.7 million into bank accounts that he controlled.

In recommending his sentence, prosecutors said that Bang deprived Montgomery County residents of money that could have been used for services, such as funding schools, transportation, libraries, housing or the police force.

Court documents say that Bang used the majority of the stolen money at casinos, but prosecutors said that he is able to control his gambling impulses and detailed his other use of the money for golf memberships, vehicle expenses, clothing stores and lawn services.

Bang was sentenced last month to four years, after pleading guilty to federal charges. He will serve the first four years of his federal sentence concurrently with his state sentence, The Washington Post reported.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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