Federal investigators believe North Korea used a China-based front company to evade sanctions and earn "hundreds of millions of dollars" to fund its nuclear program, according to a newly unsealed appellate court ruling.
Investigators allege the North Koreans exported coal and other valuable minerals via their front company, generating revenue in U.S. currency, with three Chinese banks handling the transactions, NBC News reported.
A secret federal investigation into the transactions was made public after federal prosecutors subpoenaed the Chinese banks for the records of the company's transactions, and the banks fought the subpoenas in a case that went to the Washington, D.C., federal appeals court. The names of the banks and of the alleged front company are redacted.
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