Prosecutors have charged relatives of former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with conspiracy to bribe a government official.
Mr Ban's younger brother and his nephew stand accused of offering money to a Middle Eastern official, through an American middleman.
They allege the two men bribed the official to use state funds to buy their building project.
Mr Ban served as UN secretary general from 2007 until 2016.
He was succeeded by former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres on 1 January 2017. Mr Ban is now being seen as a possible future president in his home country of South Korea.
Reuters quoted his spokesman as saying Mr Ban was unaware of the circumstances surrounding the allegations against his relatives.
Prosecutors say that in early 2013 the South Korean construction firm Keangnam, of which Mr Ban's brother Ban Ki-sang was an executive, was faced with growing debt and sought to sell a building complex in Vietnam known as Landmark 72.
In a 39-page indictment unsealed on Tuesday at a Manhattan courthouse, prosecutors alleged that he and his son Joo Hyan "Dennis" Bahn, a Manhattan estate agent, stood to make millions of dollars in commission on the sale, valued at up to $800m (£657m).
US officials say that the two men paid millions of dollars in bribes and tried to trade on the prominence of their South Korean family name in order to persuade a Middle Eastern official from an unnamed country to arrange a purchase of the complex by that country's sovereign wealth fund.
Federal papers say the two even tried to secure a meeting to discuss the deal with that country's head of state during his visit to New York during an annual UN general assembly meeting.
Mr Bahn, who has pleaded not guilty, was released on bail.
According to the indictment, a $500,000 initial bribe was paid to US businessman Malcolm Harris who presented himself as an agent of the official, with another $2m promised upon the closing of the sale.
But Mr Harris allegedly double-crossed Mr Bahn and his father and made off with the money. Neither Mr Harris nor Mr Ban Ki-sang have been detained.
"This alleged bribery and fraud scheme offends all who believe in honest and transparent business," said US Attorney General for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, "and it stands as a reminder that those who bring international corruption to New York City, as alleged here, will face the scrutiny of American law enforcement."
M Ban's relatives are charged with corruption, money laundering and conspiracy.(BBC)
ceylon Wednesday, 11 January 2017 12:36
any family has such corrupt memebers.look at mahinda family. via DM Android App
Reply : 10 21
BuffaloaCitizen Wednesday, 11 January 2017 13:28
In this case Ban may even not know of the corruption done by his family members. In Mahinda's case, it is very unlikely he did not know or perhaps even was a guidance to corruption.
Reply : 17 20
ravin Wednesday, 11 January 2017 13:27
Better to investigate what other role/s they played in matters such as Ban's change of mind in world matters such as LTTE support/ UNHRC matters. Which are more relevant to us.
Reply : 6 16
Laljee/Qatar Wednesday, 11 January 2017 13:29
Mouthpiece of the Tamil Diaspora. Flat hopes for him to become the president of south Korea.
Reply : 7 15
Appu Wednesday, 11 January 2017 13:37
The relatives of Moon learned from our country
Reply : 8 11
NJ Wednesday, 11 January 2017 13:40
Most corrupted family i ever heard is Mahinda's Family
Reply : 12 15
Leo Wednesday, 11 January 2017 19:29
The corrupted family members would have been tutored by MR. via DM Android App
Reply : 5 1
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