Ex-auditor sought help for Busan

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Ex-auditor sought help for Busan

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Kim Gwang-soo, commissioner of the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit, is taken to a detention facility early yesterday. [YONHAP]

Eun Jin-su, a former Lee aide and commissioner for the Board of Audit and Inspection, admitted to prosecutors that he met Kim Jong-chang, who at the time was head of the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), and asked him to help Busan Savings Bank avoid suspension, prosecution sources told JoongAng Ilbo yesterday.

According to sources at the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office, Eun told prosecutors during questioning that he met Kim in February last year and requested he help the bank overcome “a management crisis so it can make a soft landing.”

Noting that Kim is accused of delaying a joint inspection by the FSS and the Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation into the troubled bank for one week in February last year, allegedly allowing it time to cover up irregularities, prosecutors suspect Eun’s request worked.

Eun was indicted last month on charges of taking a total of 170 million won ($157,000) in bribes in exchange for covering up financial irregularities at the bank last year.

The central investigation unit of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office plans to summon Kim and question whether he delayed the joint inspection for one week due to Eun’s request and whether he received bribes from either Eun or Yun Yeo-seong, the bank’s key lobbyist, in return for favors.

Prosecutors said they will also look into whether financial regulators conducted a lax investigation into the bank’s financial soundness.

According to prosecutors, Eun and Yun, the lobbyist, first met in 2003 as an attorney and a client. Yun assumed Eun was an influential figure in the Lee Myung-bak administration and approached him and lobbied him to help the bank keep from getting suspended.

Eun served as a legal adviser for Lee’s presidential campaign and Lee’s defense attorney during the BBK financial fraud scandal in 2007.

Yun reportedly worked as the “cleaner” for the bank’s troubles by using his network in legal, political and government circles. He was indicted Tuesday on charges of receiving bribes from a developer in return for arranging the bank’s takeover of a massive construction project.

“It seems as though Yun lobbied Eun to save the bank by contacting government officials,” a prosecutor said. “We’re currently examining the situation because there are other government officials and politicians that Eun contacted to save the bank.”

In regard to his alleged delay of the bank’s investigation, Kim admitted to JoongAng Ilbo that he met Eun in February 2010. But he denied that he met Eun for special treatment for the bank.

“I met Eun because I wanted to complain to him about the Financial Supervisory Service’s audit into savings banks,” Kim said. “Kim Hwangsik, then-head of the Board of Audit and Inspection refused to meet me so I met Eun instead and the meeting wasn’t to accept favors.”

Seo Hyeon, an attorney defending Eun, said Eun didn’t give bribes to Kim in return for halting an audit into the bank.

In a separate but related matter, a local court issued a warrant to detain Kim Gwang-soo, commissioner of the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit, in regard to allegations that he had received bribes from the troubled bank last year.

Kim is suspected of taking tens of millions of won in bribes in return for using his influence to help the bank escape punishment for illegal loans and other irregularities.

He is also accused of receiving bribes from the bank in 2008 in return for helping its takeover of Daejeon Savings Bank and Jeonju Savings Bank.


By Choe Sun-uk, Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]
은진수, 김종창 만나 “소프트랜딩 도와달라”

부산저축은행 구명 청탁 시인
작년 금감원 검사 1주일 지연
검찰, 검사 지연 이유 조사 방침
김종창 “감사원에 항의 차원 만나”
부산저축은행 측으로부터 금융감독원 검사 무마 청탁과 함께 금품을 받은 혐의로 구속 수감된 은진수(50) 전 감사원 감사위원이 대검 중수부 조사에서 김종창(63) 전 금감원장을 만나 저축은행 청탁을 전달했다고 시인한 것으로 8일 확인됐다.

 검찰에 따르면 은 전 위원은 최근 조사에서 “지난해 2월께 당시 김종창 원장을 만나 ‘부산저축은행이 경영 위기에서 벗어나 정상궤도로 소프트랜딩(Softlanding·연착륙)할 수 있도록 도와 달라’는 부탁을 했다”고 진술했다. 은 전 위원이 김 전 원장을 접촉한 때는 부산저축은행 로비를 담당한 윤여성(56·구속)씨로부터 관련 청탁을 받은 다음이었다. 은 전 위원은 청탁 대가로 1억7000만원을 받은 혐의(알선수재)로 지난달 구속됐다. 검찰은 은 전 위원의 청탁이 지난해 2~3월 김 전 원장이 저축은행에 대한 검사를 일주일 지연시킨 것과 관련 있는 것으로 의심하고 있다.

 검찰은 조만간 김 전 원장을 불러 검사 지연 결정이 은 전 위원 청탁에 따른 것인지 조사할 방침이다. ▶김 전 원장이 은 전 위원이나 윤씨로부터 청탁에 따른 대가성 금품을 받았는지 ▶실제 부산저축은행에 대해 부실 검사가 이뤄졌는지 여부도 조사 대상이다. 이와 함께 검찰은 김 전 원장이 2007년 설립한 아시아신탁이 지난해 부산저축은행 유상증자 당시 투자한 89억여원 중 손실 처리된 44억여원의 행방을 추적하고 있다. 이 돈은 부산저축은행의 비자금으로 쓰였다는 의혹을 받고 있다.

 검찰 관계자는 “윤씨는 은 전 위원에게 ‘정부 관계자들에게 두루두루 부탁해 부산저축은행을 살려 달라’는 취지로 청탁한 것으로 보인다”며 “은 전 위원이 접촉한 정·관계 인사들이 더 있는지 확인하고 있다”고 말했다. 2003년 의뢰인-변호사 관계로 은 전 위원을 처음 만난 윤씨는 지난 대선에서 BBK 사건 변호인으로 활동한 은 전 위원을 정권 실세로 판단해 저축은행 구명 로비를 부탁했다는 것이다.


 이에 대해 김 전 원장은 “지난해 감사원이 저축은행을 직접 감사하는 것에 대한 항의 차원에서 은 전 위원을 만났다. 김황식 당시 감사원장(현 국무총리)이 만나주지 않아 은 위원을 만났을 뿐”이란 입장인 것으로 전해졌다. 은 전 위원 측 서현 변호사도 “김 전 원장에게 저축은행 검사 무마 대가로 금품을 건넸다는 의혹은 전혀 사실무근”이라고 말했다.

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