Taekwang Group chairman resigns over corruption charges
Embattled Taekwang Group owner Lee Ho-jin bowed to pressure and resigned as company chairman Friday, a year after prosecutors indicted him and other members of the group’s founding family in a high-profile corruption scandal.
Oh Yong-il, Taekwang’s vice chairman, and Park Myeong-seok, CEO of Daehan Synthetic Fiber, a Taekwang affiliate, also stepped down, Taekwang said in a regulatory filing.
Lee, one of the younger chaebol owners at 50, was charged with a slew of irregularities, including doctoring financial records and embezzling 40 billion won (about $35.7 million) from company coffers.
Prosecutors estimate that Lee’s abusing of corporate wealth cost the group nearly 100 billion won in damages and are seeking a seven year prison term for him and a 7 billion won fine. A Seoul court is expected to deliver a verdict on Feb. 21.
``We will try to meet the public’s demand for a transparent and advanced management system, which will help us regain trust and contribute to the nation’s economic growth,’’ a Taekwang spokesman said.
Aside of the aforementioned allegations, Lee has also faced suspicions of bribing Korea Communications Commission (KCC) officials ahead of T-Broad’s acquiring of cable television channel operator Qrix. Taekwang-owned T-Broad is one of the country’s largest cable television networks.
Other allegations concerning Lee include manipulating stock prices to pave the way for his son, now 18-years old, to eventually take control of the company without paying any inheritance tax.