AF wraps bribe probe of ex-AAFES officials
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — Air Force agents who investigated bribery allegations against former AAFES official Clifton W. Choy have forwarded their findings to federal prosecutors in Hawaii for possible further action.
Choy, whose state of residence is Hawaii, and a second former Army and Air Force Exchange Service official, H. Lee Holloway, have been the subject of investigations this year by the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations into alleged bribery involving SSRT, also known as Samsung Rental Corp. Ltd.
SSRT until earlier this year held a lucrative contract to provide Internet and phone service to customers on U.S. military installations in South Korea.
Agents have probed allegations that SSRT chief executive Jeong Gi-hwan paid thousands of dollars in bribes to Choy and Holloway so that SSRT could hold the contract. The contract has since been taken over by another company, LG Dacom.
South Korean authorities are trying Jeong in Suwon District Court. He’s accused of paying Choy $100,000 to help SSRT get the contract, and paying Holloway $68,000 to shield the company from possible trouble with AAFES amid mounting customer complaints of price gouging and poor service.
The alleged bribes were in cash and paid entertainment, according to South Korean authorities.
Jeong’s lawyer has said Jeong is innocent. His trial reconvenes Nov. 21.
Choy and Holloway have declined Stars and Stripes interviews.
Choy was services program manager at AAFES’ Pacific headquarters on Camp Foster, Okinawa, from February 2005 until his employment ended Feb. 17 after 36 years.
Holloway’s last AAFES position was as general manager at Fort Benning, Ga. At Osan Air Base in South Korea, he was AAFES general manager from June 2000 through August 2005. His AAFES employment ended Jan. 11.
AAFES has declined to disclose why Holloway’s and Choy’s employment ended, citing privacy rules.
Agents passed their report in the Choy investigation to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii in September, Stripes has learned.
Earlier this year, OSI forwarded its findings in the Holloway investigation to the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. Holloway resides in Georgia.
It will now be up to federal prosecutors in both states to weigh what further action, if any, is warranted.
Officials at both U.S. Attorney’s offices declined comment this week, saying Justice Department policy forbids them from either confirming or denying the existence of ongoing investigations.
AAFES awarded SSRT the $206 million, 10-year contract in 2001.
On Jan. 31 — within weeks of Stripes making public that Holloway and Choy and been named in the South Korean case against Jeong — SSRT transferred the rights to its AAFES contract to LG Dacom through a legal process called novation. The contract runs through 2019.