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California Rep. Kim, Wife Charged In Campaign Donation Scheme

By William Booth
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 1, 1997; Page A16

LOS ANGELES, July 31óRep. Jay Kim (R-Calif.), his wife and his campaign committee were charged today with a scheme to accept more than $230,000 in illegal campaign contributions, including donations from foreign nationals and from individuals who were later reimbursed by corporations.

The couple will plead guilty.

In an agreement filed with the court, Kim admitted that he knowingly accepted an illegal $50,000 campaign contribution from a Taiwanese national, Song Nien Yeh; that he illegally transfered $83,000 in in-kind contributions (such as office space, travel and postage) from his JayKim Engineering Inc. to his own campaign; and that he accepted an illegal $12,000 corporate contribution from Nikko Enterprises Inc., an import-export business.

According to court documents, the Nikko check went into Kim's personal bank account and the payment was arranged by the company's president after a fund-raiser in New York.

Kim is scheduled to enter his guilty pleas Monday and will be sentenced later. For each of the three counts, Kim faces a maximum penalty of a year in prison and fines totaling more than $435,000.

The three-term Republican from Diamond Bar, a suburban Los Angeles community, also agreed to plead guilty on behalf of his campaign committee to five additional charges of concealing illegal contributions in numerous reports to the Federal Election Commission.

Specifically, the federal government charged that Kim's campaign committee knew that $19,000 in contributions came from individuals who were then reimbursed by various corporations, including Daweoo Electronics and Samsung America.

His wife, June Kim, agreed to plead guilty to two counts of knowingly accepting another $14,000 and $5,000 in illegal donations after it was reported that the campaign was under criminal investigation.

According to his Washington office, Kim declined to be interviewed but issued this statement: "My wife and I have accepted misdemeanors as part of a settlement. The campaign committee has also entered pleas for violations of federal campaign finance laws. While I am relieved that this four-year-long nightmare is now over, this has been a most distressing experience. With many lessons learned, it is time to move forward."

© Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

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