Woongjin boss indicted with 6 execs

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Woongjin boss indicted with 6 execs

Yoon Suck-keum, the head of Woongjin Group, was indicted for fraud and breach of trust yesterday along with six incumbent and former executives from the firm, prosecutors said.

A tax investigation unit of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office said yesterday that Yoon, 66, issued 119.8 billion won ($107 million) in commercial paper between July and September last year even though he knew that the struggling company was unable to repay the debt.

The breach of trust charge stems from allegations that Yoon incurred 59.2 billion won in losses for Woongjin by financially backing a water park in Bucheon, Gyeonggi with funds belonging to a luxury golf club run by the firm, between March 2009 and June 2011.

Yoon is also accused of causing an additional 96.8 billion won in losses to the group by using funds from three affiliates - Woongjin Holdings, Woongjin Foods and Woongjin Passone - to support Woongjin Capital.

The group, which is on the brink of bankruptcy, was to file for a court-monitored debt-rescheduling program due to its poor financial status at the time, according to the prosecution.

The six other Woongjin executives were indicted for helping their chief issue the commercial paper, and were also not detained.

“We believe that Yoon actually was trying to normalize the company’s financial condition with 200 billion won of his personal assets,” a prosecution spokesman said.

BY KWON SANG-SOO [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]
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