8/16/2012

CEO/Chairman of Chaebols Serving Time in Jail in Korea?

Things may be changing in Korea.  The Chairman of Hanwha Group was sentenced by the Seoul Western District Court, today, to a KRW 4 billion fine and four years in jail for misappropriating/embezzling Hanwha Group funds.  Hanwha's Chairman Seung-youn Kim, a few years back, was convicted of beating a young man with a pipe and threatening the life of other individuals.  The Korean Court System sentenced Kim to no time in jail for that offense and the president, eventually, pardoned Kim with a number of other presidents and chairmen of Korean conglomerates.  

Is this a sign that things are changing in Korea?  Will the Seoul High Court uphold the judgment?  Will the President pardon Kim?

As we know, many chairman and presidents of companies have been convicted of embezzling company money and have received no time in jail.  It will be interesting to see if this judgement will be upheld and if he and the other individuals being tried will receive jail sentences and will, actually, serve time in jail.
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Sean Hayes, IPG's Co-Chair of the Korea Practice Team, may be contacted at: SeanHayes@ipglegal.com