Haedong now part of probe

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Haedong now part of probe

Prosecutors investigating the Busan Savings Bank corruption scandal widened their probe to include Haedong Construction Chairman Park Hyeong-seon, who allegedly took out a combined 120 billion won ($109 million) in illegal loans from the bank’s five affiliated banks in 2005 to build a charnel house in a temple in Gyeonggi.

According to prosecutors, Park is the No. 2 shareholder of Busan Savings Bank and he holds a 11.17 percent stake in the company.

Prosecutors allege that Park violated a law governing savings banks that prohibits major shareholders of savings banks from taking out loans. They sought a warrant to detain Park on charges of violating the law.

Noting that Haedong achieved rapid growth during the Roh Moo-hyun administration, prosecutors questioned Park on Tuesday about whether he lobbied powerful officials in the Roh administration to help the bank avoid getting caught for taking out 4.59 trillion won in illegal loans to establish 120 special purpose companies under fake names.

Before submitting himself to the prosecution on Tuesday, Park told the JoongAng Ilbo that he did not lobby Roh officials for business favors. He did, however, admit to maintaining close ties with Roh’s aides.

According to prosecutors, Park maintained close ties with key Roh administration officials and also kept close ties with lawyers, politicians and financial figures who graduated from his high school.

Park graduated from Gwangju Jeil High School, as did Busan Savings Bank Chairman Park Yeon-ho and Vice Chairman Kim Yang.

The management and owners of the Busan Savings Bank Group, the nation’s largest savings institution, are under investigation for using the corporation as their personal piggy bank, misstating accounts, colluding with financial regulators to avoid being exposed and giving inside warnings to privileged clients before its operations were suspended Feb. 17.

According to data from the Financial Supervisory Service, Haedong achieved remarkable growth when Roh was president.

Haedong reported 101.4 billion won in revenue in 2010, 3.7 times more than 27.5 billion won in 2003.

According to multiple sources, Park and the late president had been close since they met 29 years ago. Park also met key Roh administration officials after Roh won the presidential election in 2002. Prosecutors said Park also served as an adviser on memorial parks to Roh and his predecessor, Kim Dae-jung, in Gwangju.

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

한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]
가조작 징계, 상장폐지 그리고 ‘노무현 표창장’

부산저축은행 ‘수상한 5년’
노 정부 때 대대적 사업확장
검찰, 박형선 회장 영장 청구

부산저축은행 김양 부회장과 김민영 대표가 2006·2007년 받은 한명숙·노무현 표창.
부산저축은행의 불법 대출 및 인출 비리를 수사 중인 대검 중수부는 25일 부산저축은행의 2대 주주인 해동건설 박형선(59) 회장에 대해 경기도 시흥의 영각사 납골당 사업 불법 대출 등에 개입한 혐의(특정경제범죄가중처벌법상 배임 등)로 사전구속영장을 청구했다. 검찰은 구속영장이 발부되면 박 회장이 노무현 정부 당시 정·관계 인사를 상대로 로비를 벌였다는 의혹에 대해 본격 조사에 착수할 방침이다.

 검찰은 특히 코스닥 기업이었던 부산저축은행이 2004년 상장폐지 후 법망을 피해 몸집을 부풀리면서 대통령 산업포장과 국무총리 표창까지 받은 사실에 주목하고 있다. 검찰에 따르면 박연호(61·구속기소) 회장 등 은행 경영진은 2002년 금감원 검사에서 주가 조작 사실이 밝혀져 감봉 등 징계를 받았다. 이후 자진해서 상장폐지 결정을 한 뒤 중앙부산저축은행(2006년) 등을 잇따라 인수하는 등 대대적 사업 확장에 나섰다.

 이 과정에서 김양(59·구속기소) 부회장은 2006년 10월 당시 한명숙 국무총리로부터 표창을, 김민영(65·구속기소) 대표는 2007년 3월 당시 노무현 대통령에게서 산업포장을 받은 것으로 확인됐다. 각각 ‘저축증대 활동’과 ‘성실 납세 이행’으로 산업발전에 이바지했다는 이유였다. 박 회장은 기자와의 통화에서 “ 청와대 인맥을 동원해 불법 로비를 한 적은 없다”고 말했다.
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