South Korean Guilty Of Defrauding U.S. Department Of Defense

(Photo by Tim Evanson/Creative Commons)

A South Korean national, Hyun Dong Jo, pleaded guilty this week to participating in a scheme to defraud the U.S. Department of Defense.

According to the Department of Justice, Jo was the designated manager under a Defense Logistics Agency contract to provide hazardous waste removal, testing, disposal, and related services to U.S. military installations in South Korea.

Court documents show that Jo participated in a scheme to falsify laboratory reports submitted under this hazardous waste contract in his position.

The government showed that from at least as early as February 2015 until at least June 2018, Jo submitted hundreds of falsified or materially altered laboratory reports, misrepresenting to U.S. military officials that laboratory testing and analysis had been performed on samples taken from U.S. military installations located in South Korea, when, in many cases, no such testing was performed. As part of the scheme, Jo emailed the forged laboratory reports and invoices seeking payment for those reports to the Department of Defense, causing the Defense Financial Accounting Service to wire more than $280,000 in payments.

Jo pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. The fine may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if that amount is greater than the statutory maximum fine. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.