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Seoul Digital University Founder Embezzles 3.8 Billion Won in Tuition to Invest in Stocks

Seoul Digital University Founder Embezzles 3.8 Billion Won in Tuition to Invest in Stocks

Posted May. 18, 2005 23:24,   


The Crime Investigation Division of the Seoul Metropolitan Police revealed on May 18 that Hwang In-tae (45, photo), the founder and vice president of Seoul Digital University, was taken into custody on the charge of embezzling billions of won from students’ tuition payments (Law on the Aggravated Punishment, etc. of Specific Economic Crimes, business embezzlement, etc.).

According to the police, in January 2003, when Hwang was also serving as the representative of the Seoul Digital University’s operating service company M, he doctored documents to make it appear as though he was paying 550 million won to software company W and then received 350 million won of these funds in cash.

Company M, which provides the online system and contents needed for the Digital University’s online lectures, was established by Hwang et al in August 2000.

The police explained that Hwang had stolen from the tuition fund by claiming the sum he had paid to company W as entrance exam and university promotion expenses.

Hwang has been using the same method to embezzle 3.83 billion won over the 25-month period between February 2003 and February 2005. After paying brokers and related agencies some 780 million in “gratitude money,” Hwang made away with the remaining 3.04 billion won, the police said.

Hwang is also charged with defrauding over 480 million won in tax payments, including corporate income tax, during this process.

Hwang is a former economic journalist. During the last general election, he received the no. 24 card among the Grand National Party’s proportional representatives and is currently ranked as the second alternate. Since last November, he has also been in charge of providing special digital reports for GNP Representative Park Geun-hye.

The police noted, “Hwang used one billion won to repay personal debts, parlayed 700 million into stocks, and utilized the funds mainly for other such personal purposes, but it was confirmed that he did not provide any of the funds to political figures.”

In response, Seoul Digital University attorney Jeong Ju-sik stressed, “Only 220 million won of the funds Hwang admitted to embezzling are directly related to the university.” He further explained, “Two billion won of the fees billed to the university by company M have not even been paid yet, and some 400 million won have yet to be billed.”

Meanwhile, a Grand National Party spokesperson announced that Hwang has resigned his post of digital news provider for Representative Park as of May 10.