Ex-Yongsan colonel pleads guilty to bribery charges
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — An Army colonel formerly stationed at Yongsan Garrison pleaded guilty Jan. 22 in Los Angeles to accepting $900,000 from South Korean companies in exchange for base contracts.
Col. Richard J. Moran, 56, could face about seven years in prison, according to a plea agreement reached with prosecutors, said Thom Mrozek, spokesman for U.S. District Court.
Moran’s wife, Gina Cha Moran, 44, pleaded guilty Jan. 21 to one count of making a false statement and could face six months in prison when she is sentenced April 28.
Mrozek said prosecutors are pleased Moran is facing a “substantial” sentence.
The Morans had more than $700,000 in cash in their on-post home when Army Criminal Investigation Command agents raided it in January 2002. According to the indictment, Gina Moran tried to move money stuffed in a living room couch to the bedroom to elude investigators.
Moran, of Maine, was Contracting Command Korea commander from July 2001 to January 2002. He was suspended following the raid on his home. He commanded 140 people and was responsible for 17,000 contacts worth more than $310 million annually.
Three other Americans were charged in the case. Joseph Kang Hur of Anaheim Hills, Calif., pleaded guilty in August to two bribery counts for aiding Moran. He is to be sentenced on April 7.
Also charged were Ronald Adair Parrish, former CCK chief of the Contract Support Division, and businessman Richard Lee Carlisle, of Harrison County, Ind. Both pleaded innocent to two charges each of illegally influencing contracting bids. Trials are scheduled for Feb. 25, Mrozek said.
Seoul prosecutors charged Chong Kyu-chun, president of Aulson and Sky Construction Company, Ltd., with bribery. He was convicted Aug. 20 and sentenced to 18 months in prison.
A U.S. federal indictment alleged Chong’s company paid $50,000 to Moran and his wife in exchange for a contract to improve family housing at Osan Air Base, $200,000 for a Camp Carroll construction contract and $150,000 for an Area I contract.
Another company, IBS Industries Company, Ltd., was awarded $14 million of a $112 million contract to provide uniformed civilian security guards at U.S. military bases in South Korea, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors said that company’s chief executive officer, Ku Woong-seo, paid Hur $20,000 in cash and several checks in South Korean won, half of which was given to Moran.
But Seoul prosecutor Ko Sok-hong said Tuesday there was no clear evidence the money Ku paid was a bribe for a contract. Ku has not been charged.
Choe Song-won contributed to this report.