Korean Bribes Helped Build Convention Center, Feds Say

The federal government said former South Korean president Chun Doo-hwan laundered bribe money through the Pennsylvania Convention Center expansion.

Yesterday, the Department of Justice announced it had seized $500,000 from former South Korean president Chun Doo-hwan. Obviously, there is a Philadelphia connection: The money seized from Chun was bribe money laundered through the Convention Center expansion.

Chun was South Korea’s president in the 1980s and owes the country $143.5 million from corruption during his time in office. He’s considered the country’s last military strongman. He was sentenced to death in the 1990s, but it was commuted.

Chun’s daughter invested $500,000 in the Convention Center expansion, the feds say, through a program that allows foreigners to get green cards. The minimum investment in the Immigrant Investor Program (aka EB 5) is $500,000-$1 million.

“I guess it’s a little tale of international intrigue,” Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation president John Grady told the Daily News. The PIDC runs the program in Philadelphia. The PIDC isn’t accused of any wrongdoing.

[Daily News | DOJ]