Rewards for Justice – Reward Offer for Information on North Korean IT Workers


The U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program, which is administered by the Diplomatic Security Service, is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information that leads to the disruption of financial mechanisms of persons engaged in certain activities that support the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Such activities include money laundering that supports the Government of North Korea or any senior official or person acting for or on behalf of that government.

The Department is seeking information on North Korean information technology (IT) workers using aliases Jiho Han, Chunji Jin, and Haoran Xu, and their manager Zhonghua. These individuals engaged in a scheme that enabled Han, Jin, and Xu to obtain illicit telework employment with U.S. companies using false identities belonging to more than 60 real U.S. persons. The illicit scheme generated at least $6.8 million for the DPRK.

From about October 2020 until October 2023, U.S. national Christina Chapman helped Han, Jin, and Xu obtain work as remote software and applications developers with companies in a range of sectors and industries. They also attempted — but failed — to gain similar employment at two U.S. government agencies. These IT workers are linked to the DPRK’s Munitions Industry Department, which oversees the development of the DPRK’s ballistic missiles, weapons production, and research and development programs.

Chapman assisted the North Korean IT workers in acquiring valid identities of real U.S. citizens. She also received and hosted laptop computers issued to the IT workers by U.S. employers to make it appear that the overseas workers were located in the United States and assisted the workers in connecting remotely to the U.S. companies’ IT networks on a daily basis. She also helped launder the proceeds from the scheme by receiving, processing, and distributing paychecks from the U.S. firms to these IT workers and others.

RFJ is an effective national security tool and is administered by the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service.  Since its inception in 1984, the program has paid more than $250 million to more than125 people across the globe who provided information that helped prevent terrorism, bring terrorist leaders to justice, and resolve threats to U.S. national security. Of that amount, RFJ has paid rewards of $5 million each to two individuals whose information helped disrupt an illicit financial scheme that benefitted the DPRK.

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