Kim Tae-han, president and CEO of contract drug manufacturer Samsung BioLogics, appeared again before prosecutors on July 5 to be questioned about whether he abetted the destruction of evidence in an accounting scandal at the company.
Kim, who has headed the Samsung Group company since its founding in 2011, arrived at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office at 10 a.m. before being grilled as a suspect over the decision-making process behind his company’s alleged accounting irregularities.
The 62-year-old Kim is accused of masterminding the manipulation and destruction of accounting data and internal documents related to suspected window dressing committed in 2015 to inflate the valuation of Samsung BioLogics ahead of its initial public offering in 2016.
Prosecutors and financial market regulators suspect that Samsung BioLogics inflated its valuation by approximately 4.5 trillion won ($3.9 billion) in 2015 after fraudulently changing the method used to calculate the value of its stake in Samsung Bioepis, a joint venture with US-based Biogen Inc. After the accounting method changed, Samsung BioLogics swung to a profit.
The Securities & Futures Commission, a market watchdog, asked the prosecution last November to investigate Samsung BioLogics and Kim, saying the changed accounting method was “abnormal.”
Prosecutors then requested an arrest warrant for the 62-year-old Kim in late May but a Seoul court rejected it. Samsung BioLogics has claimed that the change of accounting methods and the revaluation of Samsung Bioepis in 2015 was in line with international accounting standards.
So far, eight executives of Samsung BioLogics, Samsung Bioepis and Samsung Electronics have been arrested on charges of participating in attempts to destroy evidence related to the suspected accounting fraud.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)