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Press Release

Additional Contractors Indicted for Rigging Bids and Defrauding the U.S. Military in South Korea

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A federal grand jury in the Western District of Texas returned a superseding indictment today charging a third South Korean national and a South Korean company for their roles in a bid-rigging conspiracy and a scheme to defraud the United States in connection with operation and maintenance work for U.S. military installations in South Korea.

According to the superseding indictment filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Hye Yeon “Rachel” Jo was the CEO of DESCA Co. Ltd. (DESCA), a company that performed subcontract work on U.S. military installations in South Korea. Beginning at least as early as November 2018, Jo and DESCA, along with others, conspired to rig bids and fix prices for subcontract work, and defrauded the U.S. Department of Defense to obtain millions of dollars in repair and maintenance subcontract work at U.S military installations in South Korea. Hyuk Jin Kwon and Hyun Ki Shin, who conspired with Jo and DESCA, were previously indicted on similar charges on March 16, 2022.

“These alleged crimes targeted United States military installations overseas, where we make significant investments to protect our strategic interests,” said Director Daniel Glad of the Justice Department’s Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF). “The Antitrust Division and our PCSF partners around the globe will continue to investigate and pursue charges for illegal conduct that targets U.S. military spending, wherever it occurs.”

“Fair and open competition is crucial to protecting the interests of the American taxpayer,” said Special Agent in Charge Stanley A. Newell of the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s (DCIS) Transnational Operations Field Office. “The dedicated professionals of DCIS, along with our partners from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID), FBI and PCSF, remain vigilant in our efforts to bring to justice those who threaten the integrity of our military procurement system.”

“This adjudication was made possible by combining the investigative forces of Army CID’s Far East Fraud Resident Agency and the Republic of South Korea. These international partnerships are invaluable and help protect the integrity of the contracting and bidding process of the U.S. military,” said Special Agent in Charge Keith K. Kelly of the Army CID’s Fraud Field Office. “The Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division is committed to identifying and holding accountable all those who would attempt to defraud the U.S. government and the American people.”

“Today’s indictment continues the results of the FBI’s investigation into a South Korean company for conspiring to defraud the United States,” said Assistant Director Michael Nordwall of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “The defendants orchestrated a scheme to rig bids and fix prices to obtain millions of dollars in contract work on military bases. As this case demonstrates, the FBI is committed to taking meaningful action to maintain a fair and free marketplace both at home, and abroad.”

The eight-count indictment charges Jo, DESCA, Kwon and Shin with one count of conspiracy to restrain trade (violating the Sherman Act), one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and six counts of wire fraud. This indictment is the second in an investigation into bid rigging and price fixing for operation and maintenance work for U.S. military installations in South Korea. A South Korean company was previously sentenced for participating in the conspiracy and fraud scheme on Sept. 12, 2023.

The defendants face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine for individuals and a maximum penalty of a $100 million fine for corporations for the violation of the Sherman Act. They also face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for violating the wire fraud statute. The maximum fines may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by victims if either amount is greater than the statutory maximum. Upon a conviction, a federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

The Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal II Section, Army CID, FBI and DCIS investigated the case.

Trial Attorneys Daniel E. Lipton and Daniel P. Chung of the Antitrust Division are prosecuting the case, with assistance from Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew B. Devlin for the Western District of Texas.

Anyone with information about this investigation or other procurement fraud schemes should notify the Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF) at The Justice Department created the PCSF in November 2019. It is a joint law enforcement effort to combat antitrust crimes and related fraudulent schemes that impact government procurement, grant and program funding at all levels of government – federal, state and local. For more information, visit

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated March 6, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-257