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2 officials at Seoul-based ad company indicted over alleged embezzlement

All Headlines 16:55 April 14, 2016

SEOUL, April 14 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors said Thursday they have indicted two high-level officials at a foreign-affiliated advertising company in Seoul over allegations they created slush funds.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said a 52-year-old surnamed Kim is accused of siphoning off some 830 million won (US$719,000) from 2010 to 2015 in collaboration with the company chief.

Prosecutors suspect they created the slush funds by exaggerating transactions in contracts with their partners or faking deals that did not exist. The 47-year-old head of the company, identified only by his surname Kim, was previously indicted.

The other suspect, identified only by his surname Suh, is facing charges that he siphoned off some 310 million won using the same tactics during the cited period.

The suspects used the money to bribe clients, according to prosecutors. Some part of the money was used to provide bonuses to employees.

Prosecutors said they did not take the two into custody, saying they did not seem to have led the crime.

Including the two officials and company chief Kim, five former and incumbent company members are facing trials over related charges.

Prosecutors said they raided the offices of 10 firms that had contracts with the company, identified only by its initial J, on Wednesday. The headquarters of local ad company Oricom in southern Seoul, affiliated with South Korean conglomerate Doosan Group, was also included on the list.

Computer hard drives, accounting books and other documents were confiscated from the offices.

Baek Bok-in, chief of South Korea's largest tobacco and ginseng manufacturer and one of J's clients, is also under investigation over allegations he received bribes in exchange for business favors.

A local court rejected prosecutors' request to issue a formal arrest warrant for Baek last month.


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