LOS ANGELES — An official of Hyundai Motor America was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on charges of helping the company make an illegal contribution to the 1992 campaign of Rep. Jay C. Kim (R-Diamond Bar).
Paul Koh of Mission Viejo, controller for Hyundai Motor America, allegedly concealed a $1,000 donation from the company by falsely claiming the money came from his own pocket.
Koh, 40, faces up to five years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted.
Hyundai and Korean Airlines on Monday admitted giving Kim illegal contributions of $4,500 and $4,000, respectively.
A judge fined Hyundai $600,000 and Korean Airlines $250,000, the largest sanctions ever assessed for such a violation, federal prosecutor Stephen Mansfield said.
Hyundai admitted it made unlawful campaign contributions through several of its employees, including Koh, a Korean national.
Korean Airlines admitted Monday it gave Kim contributions through two Los Angeles-based executives, also native Koreans.
Under federal election law, it is illegal for corporations and foreign nationals to contribute money to federal candidates.
Kim did not return telephone calls Wednesday. On Monday, he said his campaign had returned contributions that were known to be improper.
He said the checks he got in 1992 appeared to be from individuals, not corporations.