As the division within the Korean American United Foundation (KAUF) deepens further, the Korean American Federation of Los Angeles (KAFLA) is struggling to remedy the troubles surrounding the ownership of its property. The organization recently received a warning from the L.A. County about its unpaid tax of $177,768.
The KAUF announced last Friday that the KAFLA’s office building is currently under the name of its former director Sung-woong Kim and Seung-chun Lim. Kim is no longer with the organization, while Lee has passed away in recent years.
Registered on Sept. 6 in 2013, the KAUF reported to the L.A. County Clerk that the property was transferred to Kim, Lim and also Moon-han Bae.
At the time of the registration, the KAUF was facing internal conflicts among its members, especially after chief director Young Kim was ousted from her position. An unknown member apparently forged Kim’s signature during this period and transferred the property ownership to the three members.
However, Lim passed away shortly after in a car crash while Bae declared that he does not wish to accept the donated property.
“It is true that the property is still under the ownership of Seung-chun Lim and Sung-woong Kim,” said an anonymous KAUF source. “Kim already left the organization, but there must be a default judgment for the ownership to return to the foundation. The only way to work this out is to unite the foundation into one organization.”
The KAFLA building, reportedly worth up to $10 million, has been going by the wayside under the personal ownership of Kim, but the members of the divided KAUF denies that the conflicting situation is as concerning as it seems on the surface.
“We’re already going through legal procedures after submitting the application for the ownership transfer to the county government,” said one member. “As soon as the division is remedied within the organization, the ownership will be under the name of our foundation.”
Furthermore, various KAUF members agree that Kim may be the property owner on paper, but he has little to no authority to claim it as his personal asset.
However, the KAFLA still has unpaid taxes to the county government, which reportedly amounts to a total of $177,768. The taxes have remained unpaid since the ownership was transferred.
The KAUF has already admitted that it has received a warning from the county about the unpaid taxes.
Meanwhile, the South Korean consulate office in L.A. is urging the divided KAUF members to find a solution in the near future.
By Hyoung Jae Kim