U.S. seeks to recover corruption proceeds linked to former ROK president

WASHINGTON (CIHAN)- U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday said that it had filed a civil forfeiture complaint case seeking to recover more than 700,000 dollars in corruption proceeds linked to former president of the Republic of Korea Chun Doo-hwan.

The funds were seized in February from the sale of a house in Newport Beach, U.S. state of California. The house was purchased by the former president’s son Chun Jae Yong in 2005 with money the U.S. said was traceable to the former ROK president’s corruption.

“We are making crystal clear that the United States will not tolerate the use of its financial system by corrupt foreign officials — or their relatives — to harbor their ill-gotten gains,” Acting Assistant Attorney David General O’Neil said in a statement.

The ex-president of ROK was convicted of receiving more than 200 million U.S. dollars in bribes from ROK businesses and companies, some of which his family members then illegally laundered into the U.S., according to the forfeiture complaint.

hun Doo-hwan was ordered to pay back the funds he had collected, but he returned only a portion of the illegally obtained money, arguing he was broke.

hun came to power in 1979 and ruled the country until early 1988. He was arrested in 1995 and was sentenced to death after being convicted of corruption, mutiny and treason the next year. The sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment. He was pardoned in 1997. (CihanXinhua)