Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho
South Korean prosecutors on Monday sought a court warrant to arrest Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho on charges of evading taxes and embezzling corporate funds, sparking another downward spiral in the flagship shares.
A Seoul District Prosecution Office Tuesday accused Cho, the 69-year-old manager of the country’s flag carrier Korean Air Lines, of dodging 50 billion won ($45 million) worth tax dues in inheriting properties from deceased father and profiteering around 20 billion won worth by assigning work in companies of personal interest. He is also charged of creating slush funds in illicit drug store and paying for the legal fees for himself and his family out of corporate accounts.
Hanjin shares took further beating from the owner risks.
On Monday, shares of Hanjin KAL closed down 5.03 percent at 16,050 won, those of Korean Air down 4.07 percent at 27,100 won, and Jin Air down 6.32 percent at 23,700 won.
Four of his five-member family are now under separate criminal investigations and could face trials since they came under public outcries and scrutiny by authorities after the cup-throwing tantrum by the youngest daughter Cho Hyun-min went public in March.
Hyun-min, who is a U.S. citizen, has also put the company’s budget carrier Jin Air at the risk of losing flight business license for illegally commanding a board seat and violating the aviation law that bans non-Korean nationals from board management.
Their mother is accused of habitual physical and verbal abuses of housing staff. The first daughter Cho Hyun-ah also returned to the prosecution office after her infamous “nut rage” in 2014 for smuggling luxury goods through the airliner.
By Chung Seok-woo
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]