News / Asia

US Seizes Assets Linked to Former South Korean President

FILE - Former South Korean President Chun Doo Hwan, center, leaves the Anyang Prison with his aides following his release from prison in a special amnesty, Dec. 22, 1997.
FILE - Former South Korean President Chun Doo Hwan, center, leaves the Anyang Prison with his aides following his release from prison in a special amnesty, Dec. 22, 1997.
VOA News

U.S. authorities have seized $500,000 of assets tied to a former South Korean president convicted of corruption.

The announcement on Wednesday by the Justice Department marks the second time this year that officials have confiscated funds linked to the son of Chun Doo Hwan.

Former President Chun was convicted in 1997 of accepting millions of dollars in bribes during his administration.

U.S. Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said Chun and his relatives had "systematically laundered these funds through a complex web of transactions in the United States and Korea."

Federal agents seized another $726,000 from Chun's family in the U.S. in February.

According to U.S. officials, the former president's son, Chun Jae Yong, and daughter-in-law used proceeds from Chun's corrupt deals to invest in a home and business in the United States.

Chun came to power following the 1979 assassination of military leader Park Chung-Hee. His presidency until 1988 was marred by abuses of power.

He was convicted in 1997 of corruption and insurrection and ordered to repay $212 million to the South Korean government.

Chun, now 83, is serving life in prison after his death sentence was commuted.

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