Biography

Woo S. Lee is the Deputy Chief of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section’s International Unit (MLARS) in the Criminal Division.  Lee supervises prosecutors in the Department of Justice’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, which prosecutes and investigates individuals and entities who seek to launder foreign corruption proceeds in or through the United States.  As a part of the Kleptocracy Initiative, Lee prosecuted a number of actions targeting international money laundering networks and schemes in the United States, including the Department’s action to forfeit and recover over $1 billion in assets allegedly traceable to funds misappropriated from 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a Malaysian state-owned institution; California real estate acquired by Teodoro Obiang, the Vice President of Equatorial Guinea; and funds traceable to real estate sold in Orange County, California by family members of former South Korean president Chun Doo-hwan. Prior to joining the Department of Justice in 2011, Lee served as a senior counsel with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a law clerk for two federal judges in California. He graduated with first class honours in law from Oxford University and obtained a JD from Harvard Law School. Lee holds a bachelor’s in history and political science from Brown University.