Son of late head of now-defunct Hanbo Group to stand trial over embezzlement charges
SEOUL, A son of Chung Tae-soo, former late head of the now-defunct Hanbo Group, will stand trial following an 11-year hiatus this month over embezzlement charges as he was extradited to South Korea in June.
A preparation session for trial will be held on July 18 for Chung Han-keun, the fourth son of the ex-Hanbo chairman, as he was arrested in Panama last month after fleeing South Korea in 1998.
The junior Chung faces allegations that he embezzled 32.2 billion won (US$27.5 million) from a subsidiary of Hanbo Group and stashed it in a secret Switzerland-based bank account.
He underwent a prosecution probe in 1998 on the same charges but ran away to foreign countries. The prosecution indicted him without detention in September 2008.
The prosecution and the tax agency said they will seek to retrieve secret assets that Han-keun hid overseas. He has not paid 29.3 billion won in state taxes so far.
Prosecutors concluded Thursday that Chung Tae-soo died in December in Ecuador, where he was hiding after fleeing South Korea while standing trial on embezzlement charges.
Hanbo Group, once the 14th-largest conglomerate, declared bankruptcy in January 1997 due to mounting debt.
Chung, then the group chairman, was found guilty of bribing dozens of politicians and bankers to pressure banks to extend huge loans to his group.
Source: Yonhap news Agency