Chun kin is indicted for tax evasion

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Chun kin is indicted for tax evasion

The brother-in-law of former President Chun Doo Hwan has been indicted for tax evasion in the sale of a parcel of land in southern Gyeonggi.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office said yesterday that they had indicted Lee Chang-seok, the brother of the former strongman’s wife Lee Soon-ja, for evading about 13 billion won ($11.6 million) of capital gains taxes in several transactions.

In one case, Lee sold land in Osan, Gyeonggi, to a developer in December 2006. Prosecutors said the sale price was 58.5 billion won, but Lee underreported the sale price by saying he had received only 32.5 billion won.

Prosecutors also said Lee had sold a land plot in Yangsan-dong, Osan, to Samwon Korea, in which Chun’s second son, Chun Jae-yong, has a 60-percent stake. The transaction price, they said, was 2.8 billion won, but it was reported to a tax office that the land fetched only half that amount. Two years later, the younger Chun allegedly resold that land to a construction company for a profit of 6 billion won. The prosecution suspects the deal was a method of evading gift taxes on the transfer, and that the money Lee used to purchase the plot actually came from the former president’s hidden assets. Prosecutors said the actual value of the Osan land was about 20 billion won.

Lee was detained last month after being questioned as part of the prosecution’s investigation into Chun’s alleged hidden wealth, and prosecutors claim he has confessed to managing his brother-in-law’s wealth. The former president claims he is penniless and cannot pay the remaining fines of 167.2 billion won that he owes.

Chun came to power in 1980 in a military coup, and ruled the country until 1988. In 1997, the Supreme Court convicted him of accepting massive bribes and amassing slush funds during his presidency, ordering him to pay fines totalling 220.5 billion won. Prosecutors say Chun’s son Jae-yong indicated earlier this week that he was prepared, on the family’s behalf, to settle the matter. “We expect to see a [payment] plan as early as next week,” a spokesman for the prosecution said.

BY LEE DONG-HYUN AND KWON SANG SOO [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]

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