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Special Treatment for Doosan Embezzlers?

Posted November. 11, 2005 07:51,   


Prosecutors indicted Park Yong-sung, former chairman of the Doosan Group, and his three brothers without detention despite their embezzlement of about 32.6 billion won in company funds for private purposes, triggering criticism that the prosecution “turns a blind eye to the chaebol.”

The prosecution announced that Park Yong-sung, along with former chairman Park Yong-oh, former vice-chairman Park Yong-maan, and chairman of the Doosan subsidiary Easaeng Group Park Yong-wook, embezzled 32.6 billion won in company funds over the past 10 years from 1995, and used the slush money for personal use.

Park Yong-sung and his two brothers, Yong-oh and Yong-maan, raised a 28.6 billion won slush fund via Doosan Industrial Development and other subsidiaries.

The brothers used the slush fund for living expenses (10.7 billion won), interest payments for the money they borrowed from banks (13.9 billion won), guarding expenses for their families (3.7 billion won), and pocket money (0.3 billion won).

Park Yong-wook, chairman of Easaeng Group, used the four billion won in slush money he raised via Nefs Co., a kitchen furniture company, for living expenses and donations to Buddhist temples.

However, citing that arresting Park Yong-sung, a member of the International Olympic Committee, could generate a loss to the national interest, the prosecution indicted all four brothers without detention.

Criticism about the decision of the prosecution being “too soft” is pouring in, given the severity of the case, bad nature of the crime, and inequality of applying the law compared to other indicted embezzlers.

Lee Sang-min, secretary of the People`s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, said, “It is unacceptable that all the family members of Park Yong-sung were indicted without detention, just because he is a member of IOC. The prosecution lacks consistency of principle and standard. This can only be interpreted as an act of keeping their eyes closed to chaebol family fraud.”

The prosecution indicted the four brothers and 10 other Doosan executives on the suspicion of raising the slush fund without detention.

However, the prosecution did not indict Park Yong-sung’s first son Park Jin-won, executive director of Doosan Infracore, considering the fact that he was only in charge of managing the fund following his father’s orders.

In addition, Park Yong-gon, honorary chairman of Doosan Group, was found to have allegedly embezzled 48 billion won early 1990 and used it as financial support for subsidiaries, but the prosecution did not indict him because of the statue of limitations (10 years) for embezzlement.

Tae-Hoon Lee jefflee@donga.com