Robert Kim

Robert Kim

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Korean-American Con-Man 교포 사기꾼 or Unconsciously Incompetent Entrepeneur? - Deceiving Consumers via Dummy Businesses for 10+ Years - Now Active in Korea

South Korean Startups, Foreigners, Tourists and Small to Medium Businesses Beware

Brief Summary:

Do not under any circumstances work with this individual. He has evaded numerous lawsuits, taxes and consumer agencies in the US.

Robert Kim also known as Wan-Lai Chen, Wan-Qi Kim, Qi-Wan Kim, Robert Kim, Bob Kim, Bob Wan Kim, Bobby Kim or John Bobby Kim is widely accused across several consumer forums for fraudThe Korean-American has been labeled as an internet conman and has been active in South Korea for the past 4~5 years after escaping internet consumer backlash in the US for fraud complaints involving thousands of consumers over the past decade.

Kim essentially commits quackery, the misrepresentation of the ability of substances, devices, services, products and expertise, if not giving any deliverables at all, in exchange for money. He has taken people and businesses for thousands of dollars and continues to do so today. 

He operates under numerous variants of his name and acts as a figurehead for multiple one-man and unregistered facade companies. He currently lives in South Korea holding an F-Series immigration visa, and is possibly married to a Korean citizen. 

Kim is actively executing the same fraud techniques he's been accused of in the US, but now in Asia, especially in the Korean peninsula from Seoul to Busan. His flight to South Korea has eluded US consumers pursuing him, and on multiple occasions, he has dismissed and excused himself from fiduciary responsibility by taking the stance of an unconsciously incompetent entrepreneur. Nonetheless his business activity is deceptive, misleading and considered fraudulent, whether he is unconscious of it or not.   

Kim is incredibly well-spoken, persuasive, non-transparent and frequently publishing content on social media. He has had over 10 years to master the craft of projecting a believable and innocent internet persona to an expert level of mastery. In other words, he is an expert at deliberately practiced deception.

Scope and Method of Scams:

He operates numerous websites and social media accounts where he makes an abundance of selfie youtube videos about his supposed expertise and connections across several industries to bait people into buying his services as a consultant and/or broker. 

BROKERING SERVICES: He targets small to medium enterprises and falsifies his background and credentials to set up appointments and meetings. He will walk into a business and claim he is an ex-management professional of a prestigious company related to his mark's industry. He would then explain a lucrative business opportunity that he has lined up for his mark in which he will take a commision for setting up this transaction. Kim would then waste his mark's time and resources, and ask for a fee to broker this highly unrealistic deal, which usually falls through. These include marketing campaigns, printing, software development work and illegal and dangerous brokering services such as taking an unsuspecting foreign patient to a surgery clinic and collecting a commision from the doctor via an inflated treatment price.

NOTE: He does not hold a college degree and has NOT worked in any qualifiable capacity in the industries he claims to be a subject matter expert in such as: robotics, technology development, telecommunications, digital marketing, 3D molding, manufacturing and printing, etc... 

SEARCH ENGINES: His primary method of deceptive marketing is SEO (search engine keyword optimization) and SNS (social media) to promote numerous unregistered companies that have had no officially documented activity. He creates multiple fraud websites and web landing pages that are designed to capture leads and targets for his scams. 

Traffic is driven to these sites via content marketing (mostly poor quality self-made youtube videos) in which he tries to entice consumers into contacting him to begin the fraud process. 

YOUTUBE AND SOCIAL MEDIA: He has made hundreds of videos across multiple youtube channels that he shoots selfie style and uses the backdrop of legitimate business operations, as either a pedestrian, guest or passerby and tries to pass-off these business operations as his own.

Kim walking through a warehouse making a selfie video claiming his company produced all the print material in the background. He does this using all kinds of businesses and facilities such as factories, convention centers, agencies, etc... as the backdrop. He simply asks the unsuspecting business, "Can I make a video promoting you?" Then he takes credit and says it's his company and/or bidding for the operations occurring in these videos. He even did this as a guest for a wedding (see "South Korean Wedding Planner" below).

He portrays himself as a gateway or bridge for international business, and scams consumers and businesses who take the bait.

His businesses have ranged from alternative medicine to robotics. In one website he claims to have been a Buddhist monk for 10 years who has mastered Martial Arts, which gave him a spiritual breakthrough into the secrets of marketing, magic, technology and business along with many other unproven claims.

Early History - USA Scams

He first became active in Southern California in the early 2000's and posed as a Martial Arts Master (Qi-Wan Kim), Meditation Guru (Wan-Qi-Kim), and mobile technology expert (Robert Kim, Bob Kim and or Bobby Kim).

Martial Arts Herbs & Meditation Mp3 Audio Scams

Kim touted an identity as a Guru/Sensei/Master to make unproven claims of magic salts, herbs and mp3 mantra audio files he sells for hundreds of dollars that can be used as alternative medicine for healing and self-development. 

Martial Arts- Learn to Make a Dragonball Z Fireball 

Meditation and Self-Help

Technology Scam - Evolution-Data Optimized (EVDO) 

His consumer technology scam began in the early 2000’s regarding EVDO technology or AirCards. These are wireless broadband modems used to connect a laptop computer to the internet via a cellular network.

At the time, EVDO technology was in its early adopter phase, so little consumer friendly information was published on the web. D
espite having no telecommunications experience, Robert Kim, exploited this information void by creating several websites designed to misinform consumers by publishing unproven technical claims about the AirCards he was re-selling.

He essentially purchased standard AirCards from Verizon mobile phone stores in the US and resold them up to 100% above their retail price. He would use SEO driven landing pages making false technical claims that his cards were “Super Charged” for faster and higher performance than cards in stores, when in fact they were the exact same cards any consumer could buy for half the price. Hundreds, if not thousands, of consumers overpaid by $700~$1,000 believing these cards were different.

Kim's Veiled Background and Identity

His actual name and details are constantly changing. What has been pieced together is that he’s originally from Southern California, possibly San Diego, did not complete a college degree, and has a limited professional work history. He is approximately 37~41 years old as of this posting, based on his 1991 high school graduation date he has posted on LinkedIn from University City High School in San Diego, CA.

  • January 3, December 30, 31 (Possible Birthdays)
  • 1977, 1973, 1974 (Possible Birth Years)

Below is an excert of a forum post he made (2008) in response to complaints on a martial arts consumer protection forum, which reveals some details on his background:

"First off, my full legal name is Bob Kim. I was born as Wan Qi Kim but my mom changed the name to Bob after I repeatedly complained that the 3rd graders slaughtered the pronunciation! 

About 10 years ago, I was a monk. I worked my whole life to get to the point where I'd be accepted in monastic service. I had a car accident and had to leave the life to pay for my chiropractor bills!

I spent all the money I made and had to come back to the states when everyone hated the expression "dot com." Since I moved back to San Diego, word around town was the Qualcomm was growing and hiring. 

They wouldn't hire me because I didn't have a college degree. So... I found out what they were doing... making EVDO 3g components. I started a information blog about EVDO and when it would make all cell phones broadband. It took off. I couldnt handle the growth. I made many many mistakes. misdeliveries, late refunds. And the business kept growing!

It was a mess. I had about a 10% failure to "promptly ship" rate! But the saving grace was my new competitor Backed by a very savvy and successful businessman, Michael Ginsberg, they provided better service, faster delivery and even put up a forum calling me a scam artist personally. At the time, I though Mr. Ginsberg was my mortal enemy.

But here is the real kicker... I'm finally in the industry I love. Esoteric, theoretical, mystical, philosophy and martial arts ... I even had issues with mp3 mantra delivery in the beginning as paypal's autoredirect feature was buggy but that's been fixed now. Any ways...

Whether the herbs I am fervent about really work or whether they are "snake-oil" (which is actually really good for you!), is totally up to you...."

Beginning of US Consumer Backlash

Consumers began to realize they had been deceived, especially after he sold his EVDO AirCard to American telecommunications businessman, Michael Ginsberg. Ginsberg decided to thwart Kim's fraud efforts by opening a consumer education site called, and for it to also act as a basecamp for Kim's defrauded victims to gather and work towards collective action: Link to more informationKim started receiving increased pressure from credit card companies and consumers to refund money to the point of collapse, which may have prompted him to flee overseas.   


Kim came to South Korea sometime in 2010~2011, and may have started scamming again out of financial necessity since he does not have a credible and competitive job applicant profile by Korean standards: 

  • He does not hold a university degree 
  • He is over the age of 35 with little verifiable work experience

He may be teaching English illegally on the side and this may have forced him to carry on his fraud and scam activities to maintain a livelihood in Korea.

How Can He Stay in South Korea?

Kim hired a South Korean immigration lawyer to exploit an immigration law that allows foreign nationals with parental Korean anesectory to reside in the country for a period of 3 years or more. Below is a video explaining how he did it and he even offers another scam to help others do it as well. However, he may be married to a Korean citizen now giving him a spouse visa to stay in Korea indefinitely. 

He even offers a brokering service to get a Korean Visa:


Here's a short list of his businesses, many of which he has no experience, licenses and credentials to legally and competently operate.

How can he possibly manage all these operations single handily? He does not, they are all dummy companies designed to entice a consumer to believe he can deliver and send him money.

Unconscious Language Learning (Learn Korean in Your Sleep)

Korea Plastic Surgery Broker (Illegal Broker)

South Korean Wedding Planner

Asia Catering

South Korea BitCoins Company

Korean Translation and Localization Company

In the above deceptive video, Kim cross-promotes his other one-man facade company (, but in the third person, as if he is not behind it, and that it's simply a third party that he's been asked to make an announcement for (Now, compare this to the video below).

Korean Meeting, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions

Asia Printing Services 

Asia Robotics & Manufacturing


Digital Media and Marketing - Sparkah

Marketing Automation Software

App and Software Development

Korean Dating and Relationship Advice

  • Never Completed College
  • Only Worked for 2 Legitimate Companies for less than 3 years: razorfish and mentus

Internet Username: journik

COMPLAINTS: Few Examples

$7,500 Scam Web Development - This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/17/2013 12:13 PM:
In March, 2012, I was introduced to Robert Kim through a friend (acquaintance to Robert Kim) whom I had asked for any references for website development.  I distinctly remember that my friend had mentioned to me that he couldn't vouch for Kim because he himself had never used him or known anyone who had used him.  I did not follow my gut instinct to be wary of the introduction and ended up contacting Kim shortly thereafter.
In the introduction phase of my relationship with Kim, he was very kind, personable, and seemed knowledgeable on the needs and wants of my web development project.  He also was quick to drop names of big companies that he claimed to have worked with (none of which were true as I later found out).  In addition, he was very responsive to emails and phone and conference calls.  A work contract was signed with Robert Kim and Sparkah LLC to start work in April, 2012 with an initial deposit of $7,500.00.
Robert Kim works closely with a marijuana rights attorney based in Seattle, WA named Scott Haapala.  Scott Haapala gets paid from a portion of the money that Robert Kim secures from all signed contracts and deposits.  Kim included Haapala in most of all our initial email conversations regarding the contract and beginning phases of the agreed web development project work to give the impression that Sparkah is a large professional company with an in-house attorney.  Scott Haapala was a former member of the Sparkah LLC company just prior to when I contracted with them.  Haapala is still the registered agent for the company and his home address is the same address registered for Sparkah LLC.
From April to October of 2012, Robert Kim and his company Sparkah LLC apparently did everything to make it known to me that they had never intended to deliver on their agreed portion of the work contract.  Work was consistently delayed over days and often a week or longer.  Emails and other forms of communication were slow and sporadic.  And finally after any "completed" work was delivered it was always late and below substandard quality work.
In October, 2012, I terminated the working relationship with Robert Kim and Sparkah LLC.  Although Kim had promised via emails that he would refund an amount of the initial deposit he received, it never happened and I was relegated to filing a small claims action against him and his company in Seattle, Washington District Court.  In August, 2013, a small claims judgment was made against his company Sparkah LLC.  Throughout the small claims process Robert Kim would send patronizing emails my way regarding the small claims action (knowing that he would be fully protected by his corporate veil).  Robert Kim and Sparkah LLC still refuses to pay and continues to hide behind its zero-asset LLC.
It never crossed my mind that I should have done any extended due-diligence on Robert Kim prior to contracting with him.  For this reason, I have only myself to blame for my loss of money and time on this matter.  However, I have been fortunate enough to have met some good people from this ordeal that have assisted and given their own time and efforts without compensation of any kind to expose Robert Kim and his schemes.  

My sole intention and wish for this report is to help protect even one other person or company who is looking to do any kind of business with Robert Kim and Sparkah LLC, or any of its aliases.  IN THE LEAST, PLEASE DO YOUR DUE-DILIGENCE ON ROBERT KIM AND SPARKAH LLC BEFORE CONTRACTING WITH THEM.  Any internet search of him and his company should reveal to you that he has no physical presence anywhere, no real referrals, and no real portfolio of work that can be verified. Any person or company that doesn't have these things should be avoided altogether anyways.


Below is an excert from (a site made to expose him)

So what did he do to deserve this entire site dedicated to him?

In short, he stole from my wife and me.  We hired him to build an App. He took our money, delivered nothing except GARBAGE mock-ups which looked like they were designed by kids.  He continuously failed to meet deadlines and gave sad excuse after sad excuse and long-winded worthless explanations.  We finally gave up 90 days later and hired another app maker, who said this after we showed them Bob’s (and Sparkah’s) work:

“this is one of the worst app I have ever seen, it's clear that's an amateur programmer that did this.  We took a quick look in the source code and it's a total mess, we will not charge you for the review because it only took 10 minutes to come up with this conclusion. The app needs to be made from scratch.”

All he has done since was avoid us & put his flunky/stooge lawyer/partner in front of us to take the fall.  He is nowhere to be found, and he never paid us back what he owed us (despite many emails from him pathetically groveling and begging and asking for mercy because he is a "startup" and that he is poor, etc. . .  He even wrote checks to us, then closed his bank account.

In short – he is not legitimate, and he will rip you off.  Beware.  It takes a special kind of slippery dishonest dishonorable shyster to deserve this treatment and be outed.  This dude is it.  He is NOT a legitimate professional.  I'd normally feel sorry for such a loser, but he forfeited his right to any sympathy by stealing our money - hence this website.  


Related Sites Trying to Protect Consumers from Kim: