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Court orders U.N. chief's nephew to pay $590,000 over fraud

All Headlines 11:48 October 03, 2016

SEOUL, Oct. 3 (Yonhap) -- A local court has ordered a nephew of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to pay US$590,000 in damages to a South Korean construction firm that was at the center of a major lobbying scandal last year, sources said Monday.

The Seoul Northern District Court handed down the sentence to Ban Joo-hyun, son of Ban's younger brother Ban Ki-sang, on charges of fabricating documents that allegedly expressed the Qatari government's intention to buy a high-rise building belonging to the firm, Keangnam Enterprises Inc., according to legal sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Ban Joo-hyun, who was an executive of a U.S. real estate investment company at the time, is accused of receiving the money from Keangnam Enterprises in 2014 in exchange for arranging the sale of the skyscraper in Vietnam to the Qatari government. In the process, he reportedly told Keangnam that he could use the influence of his uncle to directly contact the Qatari king.

In March 2015, the debt-ridden firm went into receivership, and its chairman Sung Wan-jong committed suicide a month later amid allegations of embezzlement.

Ban Joo-hyun has yet to respond to the sentence, which was delivered in his absence.

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