+ A

Hyosung’s Cho Suck-rai sentenced to 3 years

Sept 06,2018
Cho Suck-rai, honorary chairman of Hyosung Group, left, and his son, Cho Hyun-joon, the group’s current chairman, leave Seoul High Court in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul, Wednesday after attending an apellate trial. [YONHAP]
The Seoul High Court sentenced Cho Suck-rai, the honorary chairman of Hyosung Group, to three years in prison and 135.2 billion won ($120.3 million) in fines for embezzlement, accounting fraud and other crimes on Wednesday.

The 83-year-old Cho, however, was not sent to prison due to his poor health.

The honorary chairman was indicted in January 2014.

His charges include pocketing 69.8 billion won from Hyosung’s overseas operations through a paper company based in Hong Kong and cooking the company’s books for 10 years from 2003 to evade 123.7 billion won in corporate taxes after the Asian financial crisis.

Other charges include trading stocks under other peoples’ names to avoid income taxes.

Current Hyosung Chairman Cho Hyun-joon was also sentenced to 3 years of probation and 120 hours of community service. If he violates his probation, he’ll serve a year and half in prison.

The younger Cho was indicted for misusing 1.6 billion won worth of corporate money for personal purposes and evading roughly 7 billion won in gift taxes after receiving a 15.7 billion won slush fund from his father.

Hyosung said in a statement that the elder Cho’s accounting fraud was to help the company overcome difficulties from the 1998 financial crisis, not for personal gain. Cho will appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]