Rodman in Snag Over Kim's Fancy Birthday Gifts

He's being investigated for breaking US law banning luxury imports to North Korea

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 24, 2014 10:35 AM CST

(Newser) – Apparently being buddy-buddy with Dennis Rodman has its perks. On his recent trip to Pyongyang, the ex-NBA star is said to have showered Kim Jong Un with more than $10,000 in luxury gifts—including a fur coat, an Italian suit, European crystal, hundreds of dollars worth of Irish Jameson whiskey, an English Mulberry handbag for Kim's wife, and possibly several bottles of Rodman's own brand of vodka. But that generous spirit may end up costing Rodman a bit more. The Daily Beast reports the Treasury Department is investigating whether he violated a US law that bans importing luxury goods into North Korea.

What exactly constitutes luxury goods? The full list includes everything from designer clothing to alcohol to fashion accessories, with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. And though Rodman could have applied for an export license, luxury goods are specifically excluded, the Daily Beast notes. "The sanctions law is very clear about luxury goods," a former State Department coordinator for North Korea said. "It does look to me that there is a potential violation here and if true, it's a sanctionable offense." With Rodman's return to rehab, this amounts to one tough week for him.

Dennis Rodman, looks out at the court at the end of an exhibition basketball game in Pyongyang, North Korea on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014.   (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)
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