Posted December. 04, 2008 07:32,
Starting an audit on domestic companies that allegedly have slush funds overseas, the National Tax Service began investigating yesterday 16 people who spent large amounts of dollars overseas.
To prevent the illegal outflow of foreign currency, tax authorities also started tracking companies known to have hidden corporate funds abroad in the form of overseas investment funds.
Of 619 people found to have spent huge amounts of money overseas, 16 are under investigation on suspicion of tax evasion. They comprise five CEOs; three businessmen; four doctors and hospital owners; a lawyer; a college professor; an office worker; and one unemployed person.
Six of the 16 people spent an average of 500 million won (340,000 U.S. dollars) at overseas casinos in the first half of the year alone. One businessman allegedly gambled away money he earned through a leasing business without reporting it to the tax office.
Certain company executives and their families were also found to having purchased expensive items using company credit cards. Also under investigation for foreign currency speculation are low-income earners who spent more than one million dollars.
Tax authorities also targeted who purchased high-priced properties in the U.S. state of New Jersey in the name of their children or spouses with funds amassed from tax evasion on their cash incomes.
The 603 people who avoided this audit will be subject to an additional probe if found to have evaded taxes through further investigation.
The National Tax Service will audit companies associated with the offenders and trace their bank accounts if necessary.