US charges ex-Army employee at South Korean facility with bribery, fraud
The South Korean and American flags fly next to each other at Yongin, South Korea, August 23, 2016. Courtesy Ken Scar/U.S. Army/Handout via REUTERS
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former civilian employee at a U.S. Army facility in South Korea has been arrested on charges of receiving $400,000 in kickbacks from military contractors, federal prosecutors in Manhattan said on Monday.
Young Beom Kim, 62, was responsible for overseeing construction contracts at the Army Garrison Yongsan-Casey from 2017 to 2021. Prosecutors said he made sure contracts for equipment such as blast doors designed to protect Army personnel from an attack went to companies that had paid him kickbacks.
The Yongsan-Casey facility is located near the North Korean border.
"The importance of Kim's work and duties to the Army and its troops cannot be overstated," Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, said in a statement. "Kim betrayed those duties in exchange for a quick buck."
Kim, a U.S. citizen and resident of South Korea, pleaded not guilty to six counts of wire fraud, bribery and money laundering. He was released on $250,000 bond to home detention with family in New Jersey after a brief appearance in Manhattan federal court.
In one instance, Kim allegedly received $12,074 in kickbacks from a U.S.-based supplier of heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment for a $1 million contract to repair a gymnasium at an Army camp.
Prosecutors also say he received kickbacks from a South Korea-based supplier of parts manufactured by U.S. and Chinese companies.
(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Deepa Babington and Lisa Shumaker)