Court reviews arrest warrant for Samsung BioLogics chief over accounting fraud

SEOUL, A local court held a hearing Friday to review whether to issue an arrest warrant for the chief of the biohealth unit of Samsung Group on charges of orchestrating the company's accounting fraud.

Kim Taehan, CEO of Samsung BioLogics, arrived at the court at around 10 a.m. and said nothing when asked by reporters whether he acknowledges the charges. The outcome is expected late in the evening.

Samsung BioLogics is alleged to have intentionally violated accounting rules to inflate the value of its subsidiary, Samsung Bioepis, ahead of BioLogics' 2016 initial public offering.

It was his second appearance at a court hearing to review his arrest warrant. In May, the court rejected the warrant, saying there is room for dispute over charges of abetting destruction of evidence in fraudulent accounting.

Prosecutors added charges of accounting fraud and embezzlement this time. It is the first time that a writ has been requested on accounting fraud charges against Kim.

Earlier, eight Samsung officials and executives were arrested for allegedly destroying evidence in an accounting scandal.

Prosecutors are looking into suspicion that the accounting fraud may have served to benefit a 2015 merger between two Samsung units and thereby enhance Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jaeyong's control of Samsung Group.

The alleged fraud could have inflated the value of Cheil Industries Inc.'s stake in Samsung BioLogics, ahead of its merger with Samsung C and T Corp. in 2015, according to civic groups. Lee was a major stakeholder in Cheil at that time.

Samsung BioLogics has claimed that the change of accounting methods was in line with international accounting standards.

Source: Yonhap news Agency

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