Pio S. Kim


Los Angeles

Phone: (213) 955-9500 (Ext. 1129)
Fax: (213) 955-9511

Bar & Court Admissions

  • California State Bar
  • U.S. District Court: Central District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Articles & Presentations

  • “Asset Forfeiture Bill will not Have a Significant Effect,” Daily Journal (August 22, 2016).

Pio S. Kim has extensive experience in white collar crimes, regulatory enforcement, asset forfeiture, and complex business litigation.   For 13 years, Mr. Kim served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Major Fraud Section and the Asset Forfeiture Section of the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, California.   As a federal prosecutor, Mr. Kim prosecuted criminal cases and asset forfeiture matters arising out of investment, bank, health care, and corporate frauds, commercial smuggling, and the U.S. Customs violations.  He has also conducted numerous parallel investigations with the SEC, the FTC, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and handled Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty requests, including extradition requests from the Republic of Korea.  Mr. Kim has extensive trial experience and handled multiple appeals before the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

For 9 years prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Kim was an associate and later a partner at LimNexus. He specialized in complex business litigation in the areas of transnational investment, banking, and intellectual property.

Mr. Kim is based in Los Angeles.

Representative Matters

  • In an investigation for government fraud and obstruction of justice against one of the largest suppliers of the U.S. Department of Defense and its officers, caused the U.S. government to agree to a global settlement providing for non-prosecution of officers, a dismissal of the information against the supplier with a deferred prosecution agreement, and a settlement of the False Claims Act whistle blower action.
  • Defended a Korean manufacturer of fire-resistant pipes in a U.S. arbitration against a worldwide trade secret violation claim for damages in excess of $20 million and settled the matter for an amount  less than 3% of the claimed damages.
  • On behalf of businesses and individual targets of money laundering and asset forfeiture investigations arising out of the 2014 Raid in the Los Angeles Garment District and the seizures of millions of dollars, which garnered international media attention, caused the U.S. Attorney’s Office to close the investigations without any charges to the clients and return virtually all of the money seized.
  • Defended a U.S. subsidiary of one of the largest plastic container manufacturers in Korea and its officers against an insurance fraud investigation and  convinced the D.A.’s Office to bring no charge against the officers and agree to place the subsidiary on probation.
  • Investigated and prosecuted the largest commercial smuggling case in the history of U.S. Customs, in which the documented foreign-declared value of the smuggled goods was approximately $418 million.  The U. S. government seized properties and cash with domestic value of approximately $95.5 million.
  • Investigated and prosecuted the inventor of ZICAM products for importing and distributing unapproved medicine.
  • Prosecuted forfeiture proceedings relating in the law firm Milberg Weiss, in which the U. S. government forfeited approximately $30 million.
  • Prosecuted an investment fraud in which the defendants fraudulently induced investors to invest more than $60 million into a nationwide Ponzi scheme.
  • Defended and achieved an exceedingly favorable settlement for a Korean conglomerate from a $60 million breach of contract suit in the United States by a Fortune 100 financial services provider.
  • Defended and achieved a very favorable settlement for a Korean joint venture partner in a suit brought by its U. S. joint venture partner, a Rhode Island chemical manufacturing company.

Practice Areas

Regulatory Enforcement and White Collar Defense

  • Department of Justice Investigations and Proceedings
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Securities and Exchange Commission Investigations and Proceedings
  • Fair Trade Commission Investigations and Proceedings
  • Seizure and Asset Forfeiture

Commercial Litigation

  • Trials
  • Business Disputes
  • Unfair Competition and Business Practices
  • Securities
  • International Arbitration
  • Intellectual Property


  • University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law (J.D., 1991)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., 1988)

Foreign Languages


Honors & Distinctions

  • Lecturer, Forfeiting Proceeds of International Organized Crime,” spoke at the invitation of the Japanese Ministry of Justice at a conference for prosecutors from various countries, including Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and the United States (May 2009, Tokyo, Japan). 
  • Speaker, “Search, Seizure and Forfeiture,” spoke at the invitation of the Korean Ministry of Justice at an international symposium concerning forfeiture of criminal proceeds (September 2011, Seoul, Korea).

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Criminal Justice Section Executive Committee, Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Judge Pro Tem, Los Angeles Superior Court (2004 to 2008)
  • Korean American Bar Association of Southern California, President (1998-1999)
  • Asian Concerns Committee, predecessor to Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Co-Chair (1994)
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association, co-founder
  • Public Counsel Children’s Rights Project, Pro Bono Attorney