Manhattan DA raids Newsweek headquarters | New York Post

Media

By Keith J. Kelly

January 18, 2018 | 2:07pm

Natan Dvir

It was a breaking news story — but not exactly the type Newsweek was aching to report.

About two dozen investigators from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office converged on the fifth-floor newsroom of Newsweek on Thursday — taking photos of computers and servers, sources said.

The fifth floor also houses the office of Newsweek Media Group, the publication’s parent company — which used to be called IBT Media.

The investigators, who arrived shortly before 8 a.m., focused on the computers’ serial numbers — and walked out six hours later carrying several of the servers, sources said.

The staff was left shaken and mystified.

The probe is believed to be tied to Olivet University, the San Francisco school tied to the controversial South Korean pastor David Jang, one source said.

Jang has close ties to the founders of IBT Media.

A lawyer for the company, in a brief talk to staffers roughly halfway through the raid, said the police action was part of a 17-month investigation.

“People are very upset, because apparently there was a 17-month investigation and no one told us anything,” said one person close to the company.

Late Thursday, Newsweek Media Group acknowledged that agents from the DA’s office had been searching their servers for the better part of the day.

“Representatives of the New York County [Manhattan] District Attorney’s Office visited the New York City offices of Newsweek Media Group today to conduct a search of the company’s computer servers to obtain technical information about the servers.

“The company provided the DA’s representatives with access to the computer servers on location to allow for a technical inspection within the law.

“No information regarding the company’s content, stories, personnel, or sources was given and Newsweek Media Group has been assured by the DA’s office that the investigation is not about any content-related issues,” the statement said.

The company said it is cooperating with the DA.

Etienne Uzac, a co-owner of Newsweek Media Group, was slapped with a $1.2 million federal tax lien by the IRS on Dec. 12, according to a record obtained by The Post.

Uzac founded the company in 2005 with Jonathan Davis, and together they purchased the money-losing Newsweek in 2012. Uzac is married to Marion Kim, who is tied to Olivet and has served as a translator for Jang.

The IRS declined to comment on whether the raid Thursday had any connection to the outstanding tax lien.

Jang had used Korean and Chinese citizens with student visas who attended Olivet University to secretly work on IBT matters in its early days, according to reports. The company denied the claim at the time.

Early reports — based on eyewitness sources — that NYC cops were involved in the raid were not accurate, NYPD sources told The Post.

The police in the raid were connected only to the New York County District Attorney’s office.

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