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Samsung Fined $150,000 in Rep. Kim Case


Samsung America Inc. pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to making $10,000 in illegal corporate contributions to Rep. Jay C. Kim's election campaign and paid a $150,000 fine.

That raised to $1 million the amount of fines the government has collected in its prosecution of corporations that illegally funneled money into the Diamond Bar Republican's 1992 race.

In December, Hyundai Motors America paid $600,000 in fines and Korean Airlines paid $250,000 after entering into similar plea agreements with the U.S. attorney's office.

Corporations and foreigners are barred from contributing to federal election campaigns.

In exchange for Samsung America's misdemeanor plea Monday, the federal government agreed to end its investigation of more serious possible crimes, including obstruction of justice, conspiracy and mail fraud, by the company and its employees.

A subsidiary of South Korea's biggest conglomerate, Samsung America promised to assist in the ongoing investigation of campaign finance fraud.

No further details were disclosed, but Assistant U.S. Attys. Stephen A. Mansfield and Edward B. Moreton Jr. have said the investigation is continuing.

Kim has been under investigation but has not been indicted. He contends that he was unaware of the corporations' donations.

The government said Samsung America used employee conduits to contribute to Kim's campaign.

On Sept. 15, 1992, a manager, an assistant manager, a credit coordinator and two accountants at the company's office in La Mirada were each given $2,000 in cash by Samsung. Over the next two days each sent personal checks for that amount to Kim's campaign.

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