$2 million verdict after theology professor is fraudulently hired, his rare books are taken and he is beaten. Los Angeles County.


Plaintiff was hired and agreed to supply theological university with his rare collection of texts. Once university had possession, they immediately fired plaintiff and beat him when he tried to retrieve his property.

The Case

  • Case Name: Yong Pyo Hong v. Moses Joon Suk Lee, World Christian Theological University, Young Soo Lee, Korean Christian Church
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Central/BC390377
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, February 08, 2012
  • Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, May 07, 2008
  • Type of Case: Assault and Battery, Fraud
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Rex Heeseman
  • Plaintiffs:
    Yong Pyo Hong, 55, professor of theology
  • Defendants:
    Moses Lee, director of defendant World Christian Theological University; Korean Christian Church; Young Soo Lee
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $2,132,834
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    $602,250 compensatory damages against World Christian Theological University; $20,000 compensatory damages against Moses Lee; $10,000 against Young Soo Lee.

  • Punitive Damages:


  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 6 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 1 day

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:
    Henry M. Lee Law Corporation by Henry M. Lee, Los Angeles
  • Attorney for the Defendant:
    Law Offices of James C. Lee by James C. Lee, Diamond Bar

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
    James Cho, D.D.S., dentist, Los Angeles
  • Defendant's Medical Experts:
  • Plaintiff's Technical Experts:
    David Bundy, Ph.D., religious texts, Pasadena
  • Defendant's Technical Experts:

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff provided to defendant university his personal library of theological texts, treatises and publications, worth up to $800,000 after he believed he was hired as an administrator by the school director, defendant Moses Lee.Please show claims, contentions and all disputed matters under contentions rather than facts. Facts stated here should be only those in evidence.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That defendant Moses Lee hired plaintiff fraudulently in order to gain possession of his valuable texts, which were needed by the university to obtain accreditation to issue F-1 foreign student visas. After plaintiff moved several thousand of his books to the university, he was fired and physically removed from the premises. After several attempts to recover his texts, plaintiff was beaten by defendants Moses Lee and Young Soo Lee, causing severe dental damage to plaintiff.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That plaintiff was never hired; that all texts were returned to plaintiff; that there was no beating of plaintiff.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Dental damage, including lost teeth.

  • Loss of theological texts and unpaid wages.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $20,000
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $2,250

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $150,000 and return of all texts.