Korean Prosecutors Seek Arrest Warrant for Lotte Chairman Shin

South Korean prosecutors sought an arrest warrant for Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin for alleged crimes including embezzlement, threatening to create a leadership vacuum at the crisis-plagued retail giant.

The Seoul Central District Court will hold a hearing at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28, to determine whether to issue the arrest warrant, the court said in a text message. Lotte Group finds it “regrettable” that an arrest warrant has been sought and that Chairman Shin will wait for the court’s decision after he presents his case before the judge, the group said in a text message.

The move is the latest setback for a group that’s faced investigations into corruption allegations throughout the year, which led to the collapse of a unit’s potential $4.5 billion initial public offering and a bid for chemicals-maker Axiall Corp. Prior to the probes, Lotte had been reeling from a power struggle atop the founding family.

Chairman Shin was questioned by prosecutors on Sept . 20 for more than 18 hours, a group spokesman said, as part the probes. Prosecutors also questioned his father, who founded the group, and his estranged brother, who attempted a failed boardroom coup last year. The investigation was temporarily halted last month after the group’s vice chairman was found dead hours before he was scheduled to be questioned.

Lotte chairman’s elder sister Shin Young-ja has been in jail since July after prosecutors arrested her on separate charges of bribery and embezzlement.

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