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‘Samsung Chief Evaded W150 Bln in Taxes’

Posted April. 14, 2008 06:11,   


Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee is confirmed to have evaded taxes of more than 150 billion won through about 1,300 borrowed name accounts, the independent probe into the conglomerate’s slush fund scandal said Sunday.

Prosecutors said they calculated the amount after grilling Lee for a second time Friday, but that the figure is likely to increase.

They say the sum was determined based on borrowed name accounts subject to tax evasion charges with a statute of limitations of seven years and that have been traded more than once. Accounts whose statute of limitations has expired and accounts with no trade history were excluded from the charges.

Chairman Lee told prosecutors during questioning that he held accounts under other people’s names and estimated the taxes he evaded. Prosecutors, however, failed to secure evidence that Lee exploited the accounts to amass slush funds.

Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Hak-soo and top strategic planner Kim In-joo were also interrogated separately to conclude the probe into the conglomerate’s alleged tax evasion and the murky sale of Samsung Everland’s convertible bonds at giveaway prices.

Lee was reportedly cleared of the suspicion that Samsung bribed former and incumbent high-ranking government officials, including prosecutors, due to lack of evidence.

Also summoned Saturday was former Samsung Corp. Chairman Hyun Myung-kwan, who recently confessed to holding Lee’s Samsung Life Insurance stocks under his name, to investigate why he reversed his statement.

On how he held Lee’s accounts, Hyun said, “I lent my name at the request of the group’s chief secretary in 1988.”

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