Jeil execs arrested for illegal loans to room salons

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Jeil execs arrested for illegal loans to room salons

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Eight executives of Jeil Savings Bank were arrested on charges of making massive illegal loans to room salons, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said yesterday.

The suspended bank issued 154.6 billion won ($130 million) in loans to 73 room salons around the country, the police said. In addition to the eight executives, 94 operators of the businesses and a 56-year-old middleman accused of arranging the deals were also arrested. Jeil Savings Bank made headlines this week after its president was detained by prosecutors on charges of using the names of 11,700 of its customers and withdrawing 140 billion won by disguising it as loans.

According to police, the bank provided loans to room salon owners from March 2009 to January 2011 using forged documents and failed to conduct site surveys to verify the operations of the businesses.

The room salon owners borrowed large sums of money by using prepaid employment contracts of hostesses as collateral, with the hostesses often coerced into signing the loan documents for fear of losing their jobs.

Prepaid employment contracts are common in the room salon industry, in which hostesses receive their salaries in advance and in lump sum only to later share their earnings with their employers. Because their advance pay is given in the form a loan with extremely high interest rates, the hostesses become entrapped in a modern day slavery system.

In one extreme case, a 33-year-old hostess had 1.1 billion won in debt because her employer received loans from Jeil Savings Bank over the years using forged prepaid employment contracts that were under her name.

The bank executives also fabricated credit reports of debtors’ ability to repay the loans. The bank also made no effort to accurately assess the businesses by checking their tax reports or credit card sales records, the police said, adding that 36 of the arrested room salon owners were on the credit blacklist for tax delinquency.

The arrested eight executives are facing charges of breach of trust, while the 94 room salon owners are accused of fraud, the police said. The middleman, only identified as Kim, is under investigation on charges of receiving a total of 700 million won in commission from about 30 room salons.

According to police, only 32.5 billion won of the 154.6 billion won in loans have been repaid on schedule so far. Some of the bars that took out loans from the bank have closed, amounting to 40 billion won in loans in total.

Kosdaq-listed Jeil Savings Bank was suspended last week along with six others after an investigation into their books by financial regulators. Jeil was the third-largest savings bank in the country.

Police said it would consult with prosecutors to question Jeil Savings Bank President Lee Yong-jun to see if he knew about the room salon loans or exerted pressure to arrange the illegal deals. Lee will also be questioned on suspicions that the bank’s officials received bribes in return for making the illegal loans. The president has remained in custody since Wednesday.

Police also said organized crime rings that operate room salons were involved in the illegal loans.


By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

‘텐프로’에 1546억 빌려준 제일저축 … 담보는 아가씨

18~23% 대출 알고보니 ‘눈먼 돈’

2009년 11월 서울 강남구 역삼동의 한 대형 유흥주점. 이른바 ‘텐프로’로 불리는 이 주점의 업주인 추모(50)씨는 여종업원 김모씨를 사무실로 불렀다. 추씨는 “업소를 키우려면 은행 대출을 받아야 한다”며 “마에킨(선불금)을 받았다는 가짜 서류 하나만 써달라”고 말했다. 업주의 말을 따르지 않으면 해고될 것이라는 생각에 김씨는 5억원을 빌렸다는 가짜 차용증에 사인했다. 업소 동료 중엔 8000만원을 빌렸는데 1억2000만원으로 부풀려 차용증을 써준 경우도 있었다.

 추씨는 자신의 친척과 지인의 명의까지 빌려 가짜 서류를 만들기도 했다. 이런 식으로 2009년 11월부터 그가 조작한 서류는 300여 장에 달했다. 강남권에만 4개의 대형업소를 운영하는 추씨는 이 증서를 갖고 서울 가락동 제일저축은행 본점을 찾았다. 이 은행은 ‘마에킨 서류’만 있으면 대출을 해주는 곳으로 알려지면서 강남 유흥가 사이에선 ‘눈먼 돈의 집합소’로 통했다. 추씨는 가짜 서류를 담보로 총 197억원을 빌렸다. 대출이율이 18~23%인 ‘강남 유흥업소 대출 특화상품’을 통해서였다. 속칭 ‘아가씨 담보 대출’이었다.

 제일저축은행이 2009년 3월부터 올해 1월까지 이 특화상품으로 대출을 해준 유흥주점은 73곳에 달했다. 주로 룸을 30~40개 두고 많게는 70명의 종업원을 고용한 대형업소였다. 총 대출금은 1546억원으로 담보가 된 여성종업원만 수백 명이었다. 은행 측은 현장실사나 재무상태 검증은 생략했다.

 서울지방경찰청 광역수사대는 업주들의 상환 능력을 제대로 심사하지 않은 채 대출을 해줘 은행에 손해를 입힌 혐의(배임수재)로 제일저축은행 전무 유모(52)씨 등 임직원 8명을 입건했다. 업주 94명에 대해선 허위로 서류를 작성한 혐의(사기)로 입건했다. 경찰은 “잘 모르고 마에킨 서류를 써준 종업원들은 고스란히 자신의 빚이 될까 전전긍긍하고 있다”고 설명했다.

 업주들은 대출받은 돈을 개인 빚을 갚는 데 쓰거나 새로 들어온 종업원들에게 선불금으로 빌려줬다. 경찰에 따르면 총 대출금 중 지금까지 업주들이 갚은 금액은 21%인 325억원에 불과했다. 30개 업소는 폐업했고, 입건된 업주 중 36명은 신용불량자였다. 경찰은 “은행장의 결재가 있었던 것으로 보이는 만큼 별도의 불법대출 사건으로 구속된 이용준(52) 행장을 조사할 계획”이라고 밝혔다.

◆마에킨(前金·선불금)=유흥업소 업주가 여종업원에게 고리의 이자로 빌려주는 돈을 뜻한다. 유흥가에선 ‘마이낑’으로 부르기도 한다. 종업원들은 이 돈을 갚을 수 없어 업소를 그만두지 못하는 경우가 많다.

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