Execs indicted for plundering bank

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Execs indicted for plundering bank

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A committee representing Busan Savings Bank customers protest in front of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office in southern Seoul yesterday to demand a strict investigation of illegal withdrawals by VIP customers. [NEWSIS]


The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office yesterday indicted 21 executives, major shareholders, their family members and auditors of Busan Savings Bank on charges of illegally taking out a total of 4.59 trillion won ($4.3 billion) in loans from its six affiliated banks to invest in construction and real estate projects.

The indicted executives include Chairman Park Yeon-ho, Vice Chairman Kim Yang, and an auditor surnamed Choi, who is a former official of the Financial Supervisory Service, the government’s financial regulator.

The 21 face charges of obtaining illegal loans, accounting fraud and embezzlement, according to prosecutors.

Woo Byung-woo, a prosecutor from the central investigation unit of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office, said in a press briefing yesterday that “the bank’s suspension was inevitable” as a probe showed that bank executives were allegedly using customers’ deposits as their personal piggy banks for real estate investments and construction projects.

Woo said Busan Savings Bank hired a former Financial Supervisory Service official as its auditor to cook the books to make sure the financial watchdog would not find out about the wrongdoings.

Busan Savings Bank, the country’s biggest savings bank, was suspended on Feb. 17 due to capital shortages.

Woo said Park and executives took out 4.59 trillion won in illegal loans to set up 120 special purpose companies under fake names since May 2006.

Although savings banks are prohibited from investing directly in real estate and construction, the bank established 120 special purpose companies to invest in real estate, golf resorts, apartment construction and shipbuilding projects.

“Sixteen employees of Busan Savings Bank managed 120 special purpose companies,” Woo said. Of the 120 business projects, only 21 projects are going forward, he said.

Prosecutors said four executives, including Park, received a total of 32.9 billion won in dividends and 19.1 billion won in bonuses from 2005 to 2010 after manipulating accounts in Busan Savings Bank and Busan II Savings Bank.

Prosecutors said the two banks paid a total of 64 billion won in dividends to their major shareholders, including executives, from 2005 to 2010. Investigators said the four executives took 51.4 percent of the dividends.

They said the executives cooked the books to make it look like the banks were doing much better than they actually were.

To avoid the financial watchdog’s attention, Busan Savings Bank reported a false solvency ratio. Prosecutors said the false ratio persuaded many customers to deposit money in the bank and buy its subordinated bonds.

Prosecutors also found that Chairman Park allegedly withdrew a total of 171 million won in deposits kept under his wife’s name on Feb. 10 from Busan Savings Bank and Jungang Busan Savings Bank, seven days before the bank’s suspension.

Meanwhile, the central investigation unit of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office, which is investigating the massive illegal withdrawals from Busan Savings Bank before its suspension, dispatched 40 investigators to Busan and Daejeon, where Busan Savings Bank, Busan II Savings Bank and Daejeon Savings Bank are located.

Prosecutors found that a total of 107.7 billion won was withdrawn from Busan Savings Bank and six affiliated banks the day before the suspension.

Prosecutors already obtained the list of customers who withdrew money the day before the financial watchdog suspended the bank.

They are currently scrutinizing CCTV footage from the seven banks to figure out whether bank employees withdrew clients’ money.

Prosecutors said they have identified 22 VIP clients of Busan Savings Bank suspected of withdrawing money.

According to prosecutors, 27,196 customers may lose deposits above the government-insured limit, amounting to 175 billion won. They said 2,947 customers who purchased the banks’ bonds won’t get their money back, totaling 113.2 billion won.


By Im Hyun-ju, Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [연합]

7조대 경제범죄…부산저축銀 21명 기소

박연호·김민영·김양 등 10명 구속…11명 불구속
120개 위장 SPC 통해 5조1천억 불법대출
금융감독도 부실 드러나 수사 확대

저축은행 불법대출 및 특혜인출 의혹을 수사중인 대검찰청 중앙수사부(김홍일 검사장)는 천문학적인 7조원대 불법대출과 분식회계, 횡령 등 혐의로 부산저축은행그룹 박연호(61) 회장을 비롯한 대주주와 주요 임원 등 10명을 구속, 11명을 불구속 기소했다고 2일 밝혔다.

검찰에 따르면 박 회장 등은 부동산 시행사업 등을 직접 수행하기 위해 그룹 차원에서 120개의 특수목적법인(SPC)를 설립, 영업직원들을 통해 관리하면서 대주주와 무관한 독립사업체인 것처럼 위장해 부산저축은행그룹 5개 계열은행에서 총 4조5천942억원의 사업자금을 불법 대출받은 혐의(상호저축은행법상 대주주등에 대한 신용공여금지 위반)를 받고 있다.

대출 심사나 담보 확보 없이 대주주 친인척 등에 `묻지마식` 대출을 해주도록 지시해 5개 계열은행에 5천60억원의 손해를 끼친 혐의(특정경제범죄가중처벌법상 배임)도 있다.

이들은 또 계열은행들에 대한 2조4천533억원 상당의 분식회계로 국제결제은행(BIS) 기준 자기자본비율을 조작해 감독기관의 감시를 회피하고 이익을 부풀려 거액의 배당금을 챙기고(주식회사의 외부감사에관한법률 위반), 허위 재무제표를 이용해 1천억원 규모의 유상증자를 한(사기적 부정거래) 것으로 조사됐다.

박 회장은 부산1·2저축은행에서 타 업체에 대출해주는 명목으로 44억5천만원을 빼돌려 개인 빚을 갚은 혐의(특경가법상 횡령)도 추가됐다.

이들에게 적용된 혐의는 모두 5가지로 총 금액은 7조6천579억원에 달한다.

부산저축은행그룹 대주주와 경영진은 이밖에도 영업정지를 예상하고 며칠 전부터 가족 명의의 예금을 인출하거나 재산을 은닉하는 등 경영실패로 인한 예금자들의 막대한 피해에도 아랑곳없이 심각한 도덕적해이(모럴해저드)를 저지른 정황도 확인됐다.

또 금융감독원 등에서는 2001년부터 부동산 시행사업을 직접 수행하기 시작한 부산저축은행그룹에 대해 수차례 검사를 시행했음에도 차명을 동원한 광범위한 불법대출을 적발하지 못하는 등 금융당국의 감독이 부실하게 이뤄진 정황이 드러났다고 검찰은 밝혔다.

이날 구속기소된 사람은 박 회장을 비롯해 김양(58) 부산저축은행그룹 부회장, 김민영(65) 부산저축은행장, 강성우(59) 부산저축은행 감사, 오지열(58) 중앙부산저축은행장, 김태오(60) 대전저축은행장, 김지섭(53) 전주저축은행장 등이다.

검찰은 앞서 지난 3월 부산저축은행그룹 계열 5개 은행을 압수수색해 확보한 자료를 분석한 결과 7조원대의 대출 가운데 상당 부분을 불법대출로 확인해 상호저축은행법 위반과 특경가법상 배임 등의 혐의로 박 회장 등 10명을 구속했다.

우병우 대검 수사기획관은 "추가 수사를 통해 법인자산을 빼돌리거나 대주주·임원진의 재산은닉 행위가 밝혀질 경우 형사처벌과 민사상 책임보전 조치가 병행되도록 유관기관과 긴밀히 협조하겠다"고 말했다.

검찰은 박 회장 등을 기소한 후에도 여죄가 있는지 불법대출 내역을 추가로 파헤치는 한편 감독기관 등 외부에서 불법대출을 눈감아주거나 방조했는지 수사를 확대할 방침이다.

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