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SK chairman summoned over suspected embezzlement

Dec. 19, 2011 - 21:01 By Korea Herald
SK Group’s chairman appeared before prosecutors Monday morning to be grilled over suspicions that he embezzled a massive amount of group funds in collusion with his younger brother.

Chey Tae-won entered the prosecutors’ office in southern Seoul around 9:25 a.m., after getting notice of the summons by prosecutors on Friday.

“I apologize for causing worries due to personal matters,” Chey told reporters. “It seems that there are some suspicions and misunderstandings around me, but I will answer (the questioning) as sincerely as possible.”

Chey, 50, is suspected of misappropriating part of a 280 billion won ($241.9 million) investment fund set aside by 18 affiliates of the country’s third-largest business group.

Prosecutors questioned Chey’s younger brother Jae-won twice earlier this month on suspicion that the younger Chey masterminded the embezzlement scheme to cover nearly 300 billion won in futures investment losses incurred by the chairman.

The prosecution is believed to have found that former SK Group executive Kim Jun-hong misappropriated nearly 100 billion won out of the 280 billion won SK Group investment fund deposited at Benex Investment, which Kim now heads. He was indicted on embezzlement charges earlier this month.

About 50 billion won of the misappropriated funds were diverted to another former SK Group executive who manages stock futures investment for Chairman Chey, prosecutors said.

During the interrogation, Chey will be mainly questioned on whether he was aware of the alleged embezzlement or he played a role in it, prosecutors said. 

(Yonhap News)