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Prosecutors Probe Lone Star Payoffs

Posted November. 15, 2006 03:02,   


The Supreme Public Prosecutors’ Office that is carrying out the investigation into Lone Star’s suspicious acquisition of Korea Exchange Bank has started a collaborative inspection to pursue the final destination of $1.05 million (approximately 1.2 billion won on the basis of the currency exchange rate at that time), which Ha Jong-seon, a representative of the Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance Corporation, received from Lone Star.

Supreme Public Prosecutors’ Office inspector Chae Dong-wook said, “We are putting time and effort into tracing the associated bank accounts of Ha. We have interrogated the one who lent him the use of the account as well.”

“It is not just one account that Ha received money from. We’ve secured a statement that proves Ha took the money,” he added.

Prosecutors discovered clues that Ha used a bank account he opened in the U.S as well as Hong Kong while receiving a $1.5 million lobbying fee when he worked as a lawyer in D law firm in 2003.

However, Ha keeps denying the charges, saying, “It was the compensation fee I received for consulting for Lone Star.”

jefflee@donga.com needjung@donga.com