The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is probing Yoo Hyuk-ki, the second son of ferry owner and part-time cult leader Yoo Byung-eon.
A diplomatic source in Washington said the IRS is conducting its own investigation of Yoo Hyuk-ki, a green card holder, based on reports of embezzlement of donations to the cult's U.S. branch. The IRS probe is separate from a request by Korean investigators for the FBI to investigate.
The Korean government has asked the U.S. government for cooperation to arrest Yoo's children and their aides.
The IRS is reportedly trying to find out whether Yoo evaded tax or laundered money in the process of operating eight companies and a religious organization, and whether he reported income from several businesses he runs.
The IRS believes Yoo is in France. He was also investigated by the IRS in a similar case six years ago.