Federal Way man accused of writing fraudulent checks to buy luxury home, vehicles


FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -  Police said a Federal Way man is accused of purchasing a luxury home and two cars with fake checks.  

Steve Cho allegedly cut cashier’s checks to buy an $84,000 Mercedes at a Fife dealership and an Infiniti at another dealership, but police said he bought them with fraudulent checks.  

“He seems to be very convincing,” police said.

Cho allegedly told a homeowner he would pay $650,000 cash for her home, but never paid her.

Detectives said Cho and his 16-year-old daughter went to the King County Recorder’s Office and wrote a fake $8,000 check to put his name on the deed.

Cho tried to move his family in while the homeowners were away.

The homeowner’s daughter found Cho in her home.

“She said, ‘Mom someone’s living in your house,’ said the homeowner.

Police arrested Cho and his daughter, and they were later released, but the father and daughter left behind revealing belongings.

“She had fake ID’s and Steve Cho had fake police badges,” said the homeowner.

Police also found fake checks and documents in the Mercedes when they took the vehicle away.

In every scenario, victims described the daughter as the one in charge.

“She’s a 16-year-old girl, who knows? She’s a genius for these kinds of stuff, I guess,” the homeowner said.

Cho bailed out of jail Monday, and police are still deciding what charges should be filed against his daughter.

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter David Ham spoke with Cho’s niece about him.

“They were just staying here temporarily,” said Cho’s niece. “We didn’t even know he was writing a fraudulent check.”

But Cho’s niece said she hasn’t seen them for weeks.

Detectives estimated that Cho wrote more than $184,000 worth of fraudulent checks.

Formal charges against him are pending.