An owner of a commercial flight school in Atwater has been ordered to stand trial on forgery charges, the Merced County District Attorney’s Office said.
Judge David W. Moranda on Tuesday determined there was enough evidence to order Yoon to stand trial following a preliminary hearing in Merced Superior Court.
Walter Wall, the Merced County deputy district attorney prosecuting the case, said Yoon is accused of forging signatures on documents in connection with a loan application and fabricating minutes of business meetings that prosecutors say never took place.
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Yoon’s attorney, C. Logan McKechnie, said he believed the evidence “was clear” that Yoon never did those things.
“But the judge disagreed, so we’ll see it again in court,” McKechnie said Wednesday in a telephone interview.
The academy, also known as KS Aviation, specializes in training commercial pilots from Asia, particularly from China, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. The company says it has about 250 students and employs approximately 100 people.
Yoon was arrested Jan. 27 and accused of signing the name of his business partner and co-owner of the flight school, John Yoon, on documents supporting the loan application, prosecutors have said. Daniel Yoon and John Yoon are not related, authorities have said.
The school was raided Jan. 25 during an apparently unrelated federal investigation led by the U.S. Treasury Department. Officials have declined to comment on that case.
Yoon also is being sued by his former business partner, who claims Yoon tried to seize control of the flight school after John Yoon suffered serious injuries in a 2013 motorcycle crash. The civil case returns to court July 11 for a case-management conference, according to court records.
Yoon, who remains free on bail, is scheduled to return to court in the criminal case June 23 for arraignment.
If convicted, he faces up to five years in county jail, prosecutors said.
Rob Parsons: 209-385-2482