Financial managers’ ties to Moneual investigated

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Financial managers’ ties to Moneual investigated

Financial institutions may have played a role in the shocking financial scandal of the previously highly regarded midsize electronic appliances company Moneual, according to an investigation by the Seoul Supreme Prosecutors’ Office.

On Tuesday, the Finance and Taxation Investigation Division II of the prosecutors’ office found that Moneual CEO Park Hong-seok, who was arrested on Oct. 31 for violating the customs law, had bribed 10 employees of various financial institutions.

Prosecutors said the employees were executives and credit managers at the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-sure) and the Export-Import Bank of Korea, also known as Korea Eximbank. Park testified about the bribes to prosecutors, who are now summoning the involved parties.

Earlier, the Korea Customs Service and the Financial Supervisory Service found that some of Park’s assets, amounting to 36 billion won ($33 million), had been leaked overseas and were transferred to several former and current employees at K-sure, including the Business Coordination Department head, identified as Jeong.

Jeong fled to the United States before Moneual filed for court receivership on Oct. 20.

The prosecution is investigating a director-level executive at Korea Eximbank who is suspected of receiving 100 million won from Moneual’s finance director, surnamed Kang. The executive reportedly argued that he borrowed the 100 million won from Kang after signing a promissory note, unrelated to the credit business.

K-sure and Korea Eximbank were thought to be the institutions most affected by the Moneual scandal. K-sure reportedly guaranteed Moneual for 492.8 billion won.

Based on the insurance policy issued by K-sure, 10 banks loaned 386 billion won to Moneual.

The prosecution is now looking into when Moneual’s credit guarantee limit was increased. Jeong was the chief secretary for a former president of K-sure whose name hasn’t been released to the public.

Since late 2012, K-sure had been promoting Moneual in its press releases, saying that the company had grown into a global corporation after receiving support from K-sure.

“I only encouraged support for SMEs as a policy, and never ordered the employees to root for a specific company,” said the former K-sure president. “The guaranteed-raised limit for Moneual isn’t approved by the president and there was no bribery involved.”


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