Los Angeles, California’s Daekun Cho accused of extorting protection money from karaoke businesses in Koreatown

Daekun Cho, 38, of Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States is accused of extorting protection money from karaoke businesses in Koreatown, Los Angeles. He also allegedly victimized hostesses called doumi who were employed by patrons of the karaoke businesses.

In 2008, Los Angeles designated Koreatown a special graphics district. In 2020, there were protests against and in favor of building a homeless shelter in Koreatown, which has one of the largest concentrations of nightclubs and 24-hour businesses and restaurants in the U.S.


On May 8, 2021, Cho and another individual allegedly used a baseball bat to beat a doumi driver who refused to pay the protection money after a price increase. The driver suffered a broken arm and multiple lacerations.

On August 5, 2022, Cho allegedly demanded that another doumi driver leave a karaoke bar in Koreatown. As the driver and two doumis were driving away, they heard gunshots and one of the doumis suffered a gunshot wound to the neck.


On January 24, 2023, Cho allegedly assaulted a man and stole around $1,000 from him. The man had been giving Cho money since 2019 and had decided to stop before the attack.

On February 16, 2023, the man made an extortionate $500 payment to Cho. On March 16, 2023, Homeland Security Investigations special agents and Los Angeles Police Department officers arrested Cho.

Cho was charged with interference with commerce by threats or violence. The charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

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