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Former President Lee's 'wealth manager' indicted in corruption probe

March 4, 2018 - 14:26 By Yonhap

Prosecutors have indicted former President Lee Myung-bak's close associate, who is thought to hold a key to a corruption scandal involving an auto parts company, DAS, linked to Lee and his family, officials said Sunday.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office on Friday filed charges of embezzlement, breach of trust and destruction of evidence against Lee Byung-mo, the executive secretary of the Cheonggye Foundation. The man, dubbed Lee's "wealth manager," was arrested on Feb. 13.

Lee Byung-mo has been suspected of disposing of ledgers that apparently had detailed records of the former president's financial accounts, possibly created under borrowed names, and their transactions. 

Former President Lee Myung-bak (Yonhap)

He has also been accused of creating a secret fund worth large sums of money from a DAS subsidiary and a subcontractor, and making the subsidiary provide illicit financial support to a company run by the former president's son.

Prosecutors have been investigating the possibility that the allegedly misappropriated money could have been used as a secret fund for the former president who was president from 2008-2013.

The former president has denied the allegations.

Lee's indictment sparked speculation that the prosecution could soon summon the former president, who sees the ongoing investigation into DAS as part of the liberal Moon Jae-in government's political retribution. (Yonhap)