A grand employment scam
In a headline-grabbing case, prosecutors recently charged a man who conned his way into jobs at top corporations by making deceptive phone calls claiming to be a Blue House senior secretary. The 52-year-old con man, surnamed Jo, faked calls from Lee Jae-man, the presidential administrative secretary and a close aide to President Park Geun-hye, to procure jobs at Daewoo Engineering and Construction and KT.
According to the prosecution, the man showed Daewoo Engineering and Construction chief executive Park Young-sik a false resume in July 2013 and was then able to obtain a managerial-level post. He was sacked in late July this year for poor conduct at work. He then approached KT chief executive Hwang Chang-gyu and demanded a job.
But his schemes failed the second time after Hwang examined his references, checking up with the Blue House. That a man can easily get himself a meeting with a big-time CEO as well as a high-paying job by lying about his connections is ridiculously outrageous in today’s society.
Daewoo E&C and KT are companies with heavy state influence. The con man said he believed the two executives couldn’t easily reject him if he feigned to be acquainted with a powerful presidential secretary.
Daewoo E&C’s president did not hesitate to meet Jo when he introduced himself as having been sent by the presidential staff member. The details on his resume, in fact, were all false, though the company’s human relations department never bothered to check. In such a situation, for a man with such references, the thought may not have even occurred.
Such ruses have long existed, and ordinary people as well as top executives have fallen for them. During the administration of late President Roh Moo-hyun, a former executive from the Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) fell victim to schemers who promised to make him the president of Kepco with their influence in the Blue House. He paid the con artists 400 million won ($376,484). Fraud and extortion are possible because the public still kowtows to the presidential office. It also suggests that Korean society is far from being transparent. Influence and power still rule over law and order. Unless people can boldly decline excesses of power, scams using influence and connections will never disappear. JoongAng Ilbo, Oct. 2, Page 30