An Englewood Cliffs man recently admitted to paying a foreign official $100,000 in bribes to secure an improper business advantage and to obtain and retain business contracts.
Deck Won Kang pleaded guilty Dec. 17 in Federal court to the charge of violating the anti-bribery provision of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. According to the U.S. Justice Department and FBI officials investigating the matter, the purpose of the bribery scheme was for Kang to enrich himself by obtaining and retaining lucrative contracts with Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) through corrupt and fraudulent means.
According to documents filed in the case, from January 2009 to February 2013, Kang’s two New Jersey companies obtained and retained contracts with the DAPA, which was a state-owned and state-controlled agency within South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense.
South Korea Navy
The contracts centered around DAPA’s initiative to update the Korean Navy’s fleet of ships. As part of that initiative, DAPA solicited bids for contracts to supply advanced technology, including sonar equipment and remote-operated vehicles.
Kang promised a high-ranking official in the Korean Navy and a procurement official for DAPA that he would provide him with something of value once he left public office.
Kang made this promise to to secure an improper business advantage, specifically obtaining non-public information about the contracts; aid the companies in obtaining and retaining the contracts; and to induce the foreign official to use his influence with the Korean Navy and DAPA to affect and influence a decision of DAPA concerning the companies obtaining and retaining the contracts.
As a result of Kang’s actions, $100,000 was exchanged to the foreign official between April 2012 and February 2013. At the Korean Navy official’s direction following his retirement from DAPA, Kang made eight bribe payments totaling $100,000 to be wired from a bank account controlled by Kang in New Jersey to a bank account in Australia
The charge of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a fine of the greater of $250,000, twice the gross profits to Kang or twice the gross loss suffered by the victim. Sentencing is scheduled for April 21, 2021