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Activist gets 2 years for taking bribe from Lone Star

All News 23:44 January 29, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 29 (Yonhap) -- An appeals court on Friday upheld a two-year jail term for a former head of a private watchdog for taking bribes from Lone Star Funds.

The Seoul High Court also ordered Jang Hwa-sik, who led the watchdog against speculation funds, to forfeit 800 million won (US$661,000).

Jang was accused of receiving 800 million won in 2011 from Yoo Hoe-won, former head of Lone Star's unit in Seoul, in return for dropping his criticism against the U.S. fund and asking a court for leniency for Yoo, who was undergoing a criminal trial over stock manipulation charges.

The Seoul High Court also sentenced Yoo to four months in prison, though it suspended the sentence for one year.

Jang, formerly a head of the labor union at Korea Exchange Bank (KEB), had led protests against Lone Star's profit taking in the firm's purchase and reselling of KEB.

Lone Star bought KEB in 2003 for 1.38 trillion won after spreading false rumors of the bank's plans of a capital reduction, which cut down the bank's market price.

Lone Star later sold the bank to Hana Financial Group Inc., South Korea's third-largest bank by assets, in 2012 for an extremely high profit margin of 4.7 trillion won.

entropy@yna.co.kr
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