[THE INVESTOR] The trial of Lotte Group’s owner family kicked off on March 20 with founder Shin Kyuk-ho along with his progeny and mistress appearing in court.
Shin, along with his sons Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin and former Lotte Holdings Vice Chairman Shin Dong-bin are charged with embezzlement and malpractices.
Lotte founder’s elusive mistress Seo Mi-kyung
Ahead of the trial, Dong-bin told reporters that he was sorry and that he would engage in the proceedings “earnestly.”
Shin, who appeared on a wheelchair, and other defendants declined to respond to questions from the media.
In addition to the three, Shin’s eldest daughter Shin Young-ja, and his mistress Seo Mi-kyung also appeared at the hearing.
Shin, Seo, their daughter Shin Yu-mi and Dong-joo are accused of drawing 50.8 billion won (US$45.49 million) in pay from Lotte Group companies without working. Charges against Seo also include profiting from unlawful dealings with Lotte Group’s movie theatres.
Shin is also accused of evading 85.8 billion won in taxes, embezzling 50.8 billion won and malpractices that incurred costs of 87.2 billion won.
According to the prosecution, the Lotte founder evaded taxes in transferring 4.6 percent stakes in Lotte Holdings to Young-ja and Seo.
Young-ja, chief of Lotte Foundation, is accused of colluding in alleged criminal activities of her father and Dong-bin.
In a separate case, Young-ja has been convicted of receiving bribes from various companies in return for business favors related to Lotte’s duty-free shops and department stores for over eight years.
By Choi He-suk (email@example.com)