US returns $1.2 million of seized assets from former president to S. Korea

November 12, 2015
Former South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan (AP Photo/Yun Jai-hyoung)

Former South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan (AP Photo/Yun Jai-hyoung)

By Brian Han

U.S. prosecutors returned approximately $1.2 million to South Korea that stemmed from bribe money received by former South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan.

Chun held office from 1980 to 1988. During that time, he had allegedly amassed more than $200 million in bribes from large corporations such as Samsung, Hyundai and LG according to the Los Angeles Times.

Over time, traces of the funds started to expose themselves following deeper investigations including boxes filled with cash, and most recently, a house and other assets under his son’s name.

That same son, Chun Jae-yong, admitted that he had received large sums of money from his father.

The former president was ordered in 1996 by South Korean courts to pay back the $229 million he received illegally, but he had spread the money around so much in others’ bank accounts and fake companies, that records showed he only had $300 to his name.

The latest seized sum only represents a small percentage of Chun’s bribe money, but South Korean prosecutors are still very actively pursuing the fund more than 30 years after the fact.