Scammer’s parents cruelly slaughtered

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Scammer’s parents cruelly slaughtered

The parents of Lee Hee-jin, a renowned stock investor who was arrested for fraud and illegal stock trading, were found dead over the weekend, and a suspect has admitted to their grisly murder.

Police found the body of Lee’s 58-year-old mother at the parents’ apartment in Anyang, Gyeonggi, on Saturday, and the body of Lee’s 62-year-old father stuffed into a refrigerator in a warehouse in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi, on Sunday.

They caught and arrested one suspect, a 34-year-old man surnamed Kim, on Sunday, and are looking for three more suspects. Kim told police he killed them because Lee’s father did not pay him back the 20 million won ($17,650) he owed Kim. Kim said he hired the three suspects to help him kill them. The murder appears to have occurred on Feb. 25.

The CCTV footage at the apartment complex in Anyang shows Kim and three suspects walking into the apartment complex around 3:51 p.m. on Feb. 25. Lee’s parents were spotted walking into the complex some 15 minutes later. The three suspects leave the complex at around 10 p.m.

Kim is seen leaving at around 10 a.m. the next morning. He had hired a moving company to move a refrigerator that contained Lee’s father’s body to a warehouse in Pyeongtaek.

The bodies were found on Saturday after Lee’s younger brother called the police to say he could not reach his parents. Lee’s brother reportedly told authorities that he did not regularly check on his parents in person.

Police searched the apartment on Saturday and found the body of Lee’s mother. They identified Kim after checking the apartment CCTV and caught him on Sunday. After Kim told the authorities about the warehouse, the police were also able to locate the refrigerator and the body inside.

The police asked the National Forensic Service for an autopsy of the bodies to determine the cause of death.

“We’re still trying to find out why Kim moved the body to Pyeongtaek,” a police officer said. “We will request a detention warrant on Kim.”

Kim also took around 500 million won in cash from Lee’s parents’ apartment. Police said they are investigating if Kim had any connection to Lee himself, as well.

In 2013, Lee often appeared on TV shows and programs as a renowned stock investment adviser. He often uploaded photos of his expensive cars and luxury items on his social media accounts, drawing attention as a rising young millionaire in Korea.

But in 2016, Lee was sued by several people who accused him of fraud. He was arrested and detained for alleged violation of the Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act in September that year for running an unauthorized investment company. He was accused of buying and selling some 170 billion won worth of stocks and making illegal profits of about 13 billion won from July 2014 to August 2016. Lee ran his investment company with his brother. The two of them falsely promised investors higher returns, and many of the investors lost their money.

In their first trial, Lee was sentenced to five years in prison with 20 billion won in fines, and Lee’s brother received two and a half years in prison. While their trials are ongoing, Lee’s brother was released from detention after his warrant expired at the end of last year.

BY CHOI MO-RAN, KIM MIN-WOOK [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]

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