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Special Prosecution Finds Alleged 1 Trillion Won Samsung Slush Fund

Special Prosecution Finds Alleged 1 Trillion Won Samsung Slush Fund

Posted January. 25, 2008 08:15,   


A team of special prosecutors reportedly discovered slush funds amounting to one trillion won in bond accounts under the names of Samsung’s employed and retired high-level executives in financial institutions including Samsung Securities.

The special prosecution team explained that the sum does not include sums double-counted in the course of money transfers.

Accordingly, the special prosecution has summoned Samsung’s employed and retired high-level executives whose names were used in the accounts. The prosecution is expected to look into where the money came from and whether they managed the accounts themselves.

The team also summoned four or five employees of Samsung affiliates such as Samsung Securities as references to examine whether they managed these accounts and the slush funds.

Prior to this, the special investigation-audit headquarters of the prosecution discovered slush funds worth about 700 billion won until it was dissolved last December and the case turned over to the special prosecution team.

Special prosecutors also said that it is confirming whether the paintings suspected of being purchased with slush funds are included among the thousands of paintings and antiques preserved in a warehouse in Everland, Yongin, Gyeonggi Province.

Last November, the group’s former lawyer Kim Yong-chul disclosed the list of 30 high-priced paintings of famous modern artists, arguing, “Samsung purchased 30 expensive paintings from Christie’s, an auction house in the U.S., through Seomi Gallery, between 2002 and 2003.”

At a press conference on the same day, assistant prosecutor Yun Jeong-seok said, “We are looking into whether the list of art pieces presented by Kim and the photographs we took (in the warehouse of Everland) match.”

“For example, we can not be assured that Lichtenstein’s work was purchased with slush fund. We are making sure because there can be two works with the same title,” he noted.

Special prosecutors plan to examine the source of money with which the works were purchased and how they were purchased, focusing on works suspected to have been bought with slush funds.

For this purpose special prosecution sent President Hong Song-won (55) of Seomi Gallery a letter requesting her attendance.

dnsp@donga.com verso@donga.com