SEOUL Fraud charges against Lotte found­ing fam­ily

The Myanmar Times - - World -

SOUTH Korean pros­e­cu­tors yes­ter­day charged the chair of re­tail gi­ant Lotte Group, along with his fa­ther and brother, with tax eva­sion and em­bez­zle­ment fol­low­ing a lengthy cor­rup­tion probe.

Ac­cord­ing to the in­dict­ment, chair Shin Dong-bin, 61, cost the coun­try’s fifth-largest fam­ily-run con­glom­er­ate 175 bil­lion won (US$162 mil­lion) through a se­ries of fi­nan­cial scams and ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties.

Sim­i­lar charges were lev­elled against Mr Shin’s fa­ther, Lotte’s 93-year-old founder Shin Kyuk-ho, as well as older brother Dong-joo.

The Seoul-based group, founded in Tokyo in 1948, has a vast net­work of busi­nesses in South Korea and Ja­pan in­clud­ing de­part­ment stores, ho­tels and pro­cessed food, with com­bined as­sets val­ued at more than $90 bil­lion.

It has been in the head­lines due to a bit­ter and very pub­lic fight for con­trol of the group be­tween Shin Dong­bin and his older brother.

The dis­pute, which ended af­ter the group’s board mem­bers sided with Shin Dong-bin, fu­elled pub­lic crit­i­cism of how South Korea’s dom­i­nant fam­ily-run con­glom­er­ates – known as chae­bol – con­duct their busi­ness af­fairs.

As pub­lic anger grew, the group came un­der tougher reg­u­la­tory scru­tiny and in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Late last month Shin Kyuk-ho’s wife and daugh­ter were in­dicted for tax eva­sion and em­bez­zle­ment.

The charges against the five Shin fam­ily mem­bers al­lege fi­nan­cial wrong­do­ing to­talling some 280 bil­lion won. –

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