Businessman Indicted on Telecom Bribery Charges

A South Korean businessman has been indicted in a U.S. court for his alleged role in a bribery conspiracy related to a US$206 million telecommunications contract with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Gi-Hwan Jeong, age 44, was charged Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas with conspiracy, honest services wire fraud and bribery, the DOJ said in a news release. 

Between 2001 and 2006 Jeong conspired with two AAFES officials and others to commit bribery and honest services wire fraud when he agreed to make payments to the officials in the form of cash, travel and entertainment expenses in exchange for their aid in securing and maintaining a $206 million telecommunications contract for Jeong's company, Samsung Rental, the DOJ alleged.

AAFES provides goods and services worth billions of dollars to U.S. military members and their families around the world.

On April 21, Henry Lee Holloway, identified as a recipient of bribes in Jeong's superseding indictment, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia for his role in the conspiracy and for not reporting the bribes he admitted he accepted on his income tax returns.  Holloway, of Hamilton, Georgia, worked as an AAFES general store manager at the Central Exchange in South Korea from 2003 through 2007.

Before Jeong's alleged payments, Holloway attempted to terminate the contract between AAFES and Samsung Rental. Holloway had argued that Samsung Rental was not fulfilling the contract, the DOJ said. After the payments, Holloway used his influence to support and expand the contractual relationship, the DOJ said.

Jeong was previously indicted on Dec. 17 solely on bribery charges and was arrested in Dallas on Nov. 19 on a criminal complaint. Jeong's trial is scheduled to begin June 24. 

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