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Appellate court upholds 4-year prison term for ex-justice minister's wife

All News 11:52 August 11, 2021

SEOUL, Aug. 11 (Yonhap) -- An appellate court on Wednesday upheld a four-year prison sentence for the wife of former Justice Minister Cho Kuk over academic fraud.

The Seoul High Court found Chung Kyung-sim, a professor of Dongyang University, guilty of all charges related to the unfair college admission of her daughter and upheld the lower court's sentence of four years.

The appellate court, however, lowered her fine from 500 million won (US$433,000) to 50 million won and her forfeiture from 140 million won to 10 million won.

"(The defendant) disrupted the educational institutions' admissions system and seriously damaged our society's trust in the system's fairness," the court said in its ruling.

Chung was convicted of forging a presidential citation from Dongyang University and getting a false internship certificate to use for her daughter's admission to a medical school in 2013.

She was also indicted on charges of financial misconduct and convicted of some of them.

The professor was immediately taken into custody after the Seoul Central District Court sentenced her to four years in December.

Her husband, who was a close aide to President Moon Jae-in, resigned as justice minister in October 2019 just one month after taking office. He was later indicted on a dozen charges, including bribery, in connection with their daughter's academic credentials and school scholarship, as well as his family's suspicious private equity investments.

This file photo, taken Dec. 23, 2020, shows Chung Kyung-sim, wife of former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, arriving at the Seoul Central District Court in southern Seoul to attend her sentencing hearing. (Yonhap)


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