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(LEAD) Lotte Group founder's daughter indicted over string of corruption charges

All News 17:16 July 26, 2016

(ATTN: CHANGES headline; ADDS prosecutors' request to freeze Shin's assets in para 5; CLARIFIES para 2)

SEOUL, July 26 (Yonhap) -- The head of the Lotte Foundation and daughter of the Lotte Group's founder was indicted on a string of charges, including embezzlement and bribery, on Tuesday.

This is the first indictment of a member of the family that runs South Korea's fifth-largest conglomerate since prosecutors launched a full-fledged investigation into the group last month.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said Shin Young-ja, 73, is suspected of pocketing a total of some 3.53 billion won (US$3.1 million) of kickbacks from various companies, including local cosmetics brand Nature Republic, from February 2007 to May this year. In return she handed out business favors related to Lotte's duty-free shops and department stores.

Prosecutors said she is also accused of siphoning off some 4.7 billion won of company assets from firms run by her son, which she practically managed, and gave the money to her three daughters.

Prosecutors said they asked a local court to freeze some of her assets so as to recover money she illegally obtained.

Earlier this month, Shin became the first of the owner's family to be put under detention as the court issued a warrant to formally arrest her amid the probe into the group's irregularities.

The 74-year-old is known to be denying all allegations raised against her.

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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