Lotte Ruling Extends List of Convictions for Korea Inc. ChiefsBy
A Seoul court sentenced Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin on Tuesday to 30 months in prison after finding him guilty of charges stemming from Lotte’s decision to give 7 billion won ($6.5 million) to a confidante of former President Park Geun-hye. The ruling came less than two months after Shin was convicted of embezzlement and breach of fiduciary duty in a separate case where he drew a suspended sentence.
The latest conviction adds to the list of financial crimes committed by family-controlled groups, known as chaebol, a business culture President Moon Jae-in has pledged to reform.
Other notable chaebol convictions:
- Jay Y. Lee, heir apparent at Samsung, was convicted of bribery, perjury and embezzlement in August and handed a five-year prison sentence for his role in the Park scandal. The vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co. was accused of paying bribes to a confidante of the then-South Korean leader to get government backing for a merger of affiliates that tightened his grip on the smartphone maker. He walked free from prison last week after an appeals court suspended his sentence.
- Lee Kun-hee, Samsung Group chairman and Jay Y.’s father, was convicted twice. In 2008 it was for tax evasion. He was given a suspended three-year prison sentence, then eventually pardoned by President Lee Myung-bak. That followed a 1996 conviction for bribing ex-President Roh Tae-woo that resulted in a two-year suspended prison sentence and subsequent pardon.
- Chung Mong-koo, Hyundai Motor Group chairman, was convicted of embezzlement and breach of duty in 2007. He was given a suspended three-year prison term after promising to make a donation to charity of 1 trillion won, which was worth $1 billion at the time. Chung was also pardoned by Lee Myung-bak.
- Chey Tae-won, SK Group chairman, was jailed twice. He was sentenced to four years in prison in 2013 for embezzling corporate funds, but was pardoned in 2015 by Park Geun-hye. In 2003, he was sentenced to three years in jail before he was pardoned in 2008.
- Lee Jay-hyun, CJ Group chairman, was convicted in 2014 of embezzlement, breach of fiduciary duty and tax evasion before eventually being sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail. Lee, who is Jay Y.’s cousin, has been in and out of jail during that period because of complications stemming from a kidney transplant in 2013. Park Geun-hye pardoned Lee in August 2016.
- Kim Seung-youn, Hanwha Group chairman, was convicted of embezzlement in 2012, for which he was sentenced to four years jail, and also for assault in which he received an 18-month sentence in 2007. Both sentences were suspended. He received a pardon for his assault conviction from Lee Myung-bak in 2008.