The state attorney general's office on Tuesday will seek an injunction - based on charges of fraud - that would prohibit the Korean Cultural and Freedom Foundation from soliciting funds in the state.
Attorney General Louis J. Lefkowitz charged the foundation, which has been linked to the South Korean Central Intelligence Agency, (KCIA), with entewring agreements that siphoned off most of the $1.5 million it collected in the year ending June 30, 1975.
Only $95,674 of the $1.5 million - less than 7 per cent - was found as having been spent on the charitable causes for which it was raised - blood plasma, food and supplies for children in Southeast Asia, scholarships and medical broadcasts.
The bulk of the funds, $920,302 was paid to a Washington-based professional fund-raising firm not registered in New York, The Richard A. Viguerie Co., which conducted the mail solicitation for the donations, according to an audit by the state Board of Social Welfare.
Also, a public relations firm had a contract for $3,300 a month from the fund, according to the board. The sole stockholder of the public relations firm also is executive-director of the Korean foundation.
The foundation failed to file a financial report for the most recent fiscal year, ended last June 30, and its New York registration subsequently was suspended. The Korean group, based in Washington and Seoul, then claimed that it stopped soliticiting here last Nov. 20.
Lefkowitz said that while the group cannot legally solicit in the state until it is re-registered, this week's request for an injunction in the state supreme court is necessary to allow the state to enforce the welfare board's suspension if the foundation should begin illegal solicitation.
The foundation was organized in Washington in 1964 with the declared objective of "containing communism on the Asiatic continent."
In 1971, a Justice Department investigation reportedly indicated that one of the foundation's operations, Radio Free Asia, was closely tied to the KCIA.
The foundation's president is Col. Pak Bo Hi, a retired South Korean intelligence officer and a principal aide and interpreter for Korean evangelist Sun Myung Moon, head of the Unification Church.
However, officials of the Unification Church deny that their organization is connected with the foundation.
At the foundation's Washington office, Pak and executive-director Donald Miller were unavailable for a comment. Neither returned telephone calls.
Viguerie, publisher of the Conservative Digest and one of the main organizers of last summer's American Independent Party convention in Chicago, also did not return phone calls.
Viguerie, based in McLean, Va., is a successful fund-raiser for conservative causes. He reportedly netted more than $10 million in mail solicitations for Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace's latest presidential try. He also has raised funds for such cause-oriented groups as the Anti-Communist Book Club and the National Rifle Association.
Rather than collect standard fees and expenses for fund drives in advance, he is said to demand a commission - at times as much as 50 per cent - in exchange for a no-loss guarantee to the client organization.
Also, he reportedly has insisted on keeping his clients' extensive mailing lists, which cumulatively have grown into a formidable power base of the conservative movement. The extensive lists and Viguerie's proven ability at raising money, according to state authorities, are the basis for his large share of the total funds he raises.
However, according to Lefkowitz, the fund-raising literature circulated in New York was "calculated to deceive the contributing public into believing that the greater portion of the money contributed would be expended for the specified program services."
The direct-mail campaign, operating under the name of the Asian Children's Relief Fund, pleaded for help for children with "terminal forms of malnutrition" and declared that the lives of 350,000 severely malnourished boys and girls [are] threatened unless immediate help is provided."
The welfare board's audit showed the only $31,015 in verified funds went to six orphanages in South Vietnam and South Vietnam and South Korea, and that $64,659 went for "explanined but unverified" Asian broadcasting expense.
In addition, to ht e more than $900,000 that went to Viguerie, the Associated Public Relations Council of Washington received $58,756. Miller is the council's sole stockholder, the report said.
Also Pak received $26,000 annually, and the foundation gave $59,000 to a group called the International Development Council, which paid $1,800 monthly in expenses to Arthur Ulin, director of overseas operations for the Asian Children's Relief Fund, according to the audit.