AAFES bribery suspect Choy dies
September 12, 2008
PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — A former AAFES official who had been under federal investigation into allegations he took bribes has died of a heart attack.
Clifton W. Choy, 56, died Aug. 29, Honolulu authorities confirmed Wednesday. He died in Wahiawa, Hawaii, where he was born, according to death notices published in two Honolulu newspapers.
Choy’s 36 years with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service ended abruptly in February 2007, just weeks after Stars and Stripes reported that South Korean prosecutors named him and a second AAFES official, H. Lee Holloway, as the alleged recipients of bribes from South Korean Internet firm SSRT.
SSRT chief executive Jeong Gi-hwan was convicted in December 2007 in Suwon district court on charges he paid $168,000 in bribes to help SSRT win and keep a lucrative AAFES contract to provide home Internet and phone services on U.S. military installations in South Korea.
According to South Korean authorities and witness testimony in Jeong’s trial, Choy allegedly gave SSRT — also known as Samsung Rental Corp. Ltd. — favored treatment in the 2001 bidding competition for the AAFES contract, and in return received cash, entertainment and sexual favors.
While the Jeong trial was in progress, agents of the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations began investigating the allegations against Choy and Holloway.
Last year, OSI forwarded its findings to federal prosecutors. To date, federal authorities have made no announcements in the cases.
Choy was services program manager at AAFES Pacific headquarters on Camp Foster, Okinawa, from February 2005 until his employment ended. He also held that post from November 1995 to December 2003. He worked in the Services Directorate and AAFES headquarters in Dallas from December 2003 to February 2005.
According to death notices in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Honolulu Advertiser, Choy is survived by a wife, a son, two daughters, his mother and a brother.