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South Korea lobbyist in oil-for-food scandal sentenced to five years

[JURIST] A US federal judge Thursday sentenced former South Korean lobbyist Tongsun Park [personal website; Washington Post profile] to five years in prison for his conviction on charges [JURIST reports] of money laundering, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and acting as an unregistered agent of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Prosecutors accused Park of receiving about $2 million from Hussein in exchange for convincing US and UN officials to remove economic sanctions against Iraq during the operation of the now-defunct UN Oil-for-Food Program [official website; JURIST news archive]. US District Judge Denny Chin [official profile] imposed the maximum jail sentence allowed under New York sentencing guidelines and also ordered Park to pay a fine of $15,000, have assets totaling $1.2 million in value seized, and remain under state supervision for three years upon release. Reuters has more.

In the 1970s, Park was indicted but never convicted of improperly influencing the US Congress in the Koreagate scandal [Wikipedia backgrounder]. Park was charged last month in a separate case with lying to the FBI [JURIST report] about his role in the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 986 [PDF text], which originally established the Oil-for-Food Program in 1995.

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