Korean American United Foundation under Investigation?


California prosecutors have hinted at the possibility of investigating the internal conflicts of the Korean American United Foundation (KAUF).

The KAUF, which has been divided into two factions due to its longstanding conflicts, announced on Feb. 9 that each faction’s board of directors have made a request to the divided bodies to submit all documents that pertain to the operation of the foundation.

The prosecutor’s office has instructed the KAUF to submit its bank account information, documents pertaining to its operation and other financial information of the foundation before the deadline.

Also, the prosecutors have also requested for a submission of records related to the process of Korean-American Federation of L.A. (KAF LA), which was once owned by the KAUF, converting itself from a nonprofit to a private organization.

“We’ve already submitted our documents after we received the request,” said KAF LA chairwoman Laura Jeon, who once stood in opposition to the body that ran the KAUF under its leader Sung-hoon Yoon. “I’m hopeful that the prosecutors’ investigation will lead to the normalization of the organization.”

Yoo also expressed his relief at the prospects of investigation by California prosecutors.

“Our lawyer has also submitted the documents as well as the bank information,” Yoon said. “We will fully cooperate with the prosecutors.”

California prosecutors are setting their sights on a complete investigation of the three-year standoff among the two factions within the KAUF. The main subject of investigation is expected to be on the legality of the organization’s operation.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s L.A. consul general Key-cheol Lee has already attempted to mediate the normalization of the KAUF between Yoon and Jeon, but the process has been stalled. Both sides have made an agreement to work towards mending their relationships, but no action has been taken as of today.

“The KAF LA will no longer represent the KAUF to work towards normalization,” said Jeon. “We are going to appoint our own director or representative as a response.”

By Hyoung Jae Kim