Prosecutors summon Lotte Chemical president

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Prosecutors summon Lotte Chemical president

Prosecutors said they will summon Huh Soo-young, 65, president and CEO of Lotte Chemical, tomorrow to question him on accounting fraud charges.

The announcement on Tuesday came exactly three weeks after Kee June, 69, former chief of the chemical company from 2004 to 2007, was called in on suspicions that he cooked corporate accounting books and received approximately 25 billion won ($22.6 million) in tax rebates from the government.

Kee has been detained since July 23, four days after he was summoned.

Authorities suspect Huh, who has led Lotte Chemical since 2007, was well aware of Kee’s activities and somehow got involved.

Prosecutors also said they would investigate whether Huh created slush funds between 2010 and 2013 while the chemical company imported base materials from abroad.

He is also suspected to have bribed officials at the National Tax Service with tens of millions of won in return for favorable tax audit results.

Whether Lotte Chairman and CEO Shin Dong-bin was tipped off about Lotte Chemical’s accounting fraud is another question prosecutors will hope to answer.

Authorities said there is a “high possibility” he ordered the entire scheme.

BY SONG SEUNG-HWAN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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