‘Friend’ director sued over financial fraud

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‘Friend’ director sued over financial fraud

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Kwak Kyung-taek, the writer and director of the record-breaking film “Friend” (2001), has been sued for allegedly committing financial fraud worth 10 billion won ($8.1 million).

According to the petition submitted by Cho Yong-moon, the former head of a non-banking financial institution from which Kwak borrowed money, Kwak failed to pay back 900 million won of a 1.7 billion won loan he took out from Cho’s institution.

After helming several box-office flops, including “Typhoon” (2005) and “A Love” (2007), Kwak was already 8 billion won in debt when he went to borrow money. Cho accused the director of using the loan to write off his existing debt instead of on a movie production as he had claimed he would.

Cho pled guilty to leading a conspiracy in 2011 within his financial institution and was sentenced to three years in prison and five years of probation in 2013.

During the investigative process, the prosecution reportedly discovered the director’s fraud and elicited a partial admission from Kwak. Yet, having been occupied with the financial institution management case, the prosecution did not arrest Kwak for further investigation.

By Jeong Byung-ki
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