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Ex-justice minister's wife challenges appellate court ruling in academic fraud case

All News 18:29 August 12, 2021

SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) -- The wife of former Justice Minister Cho Kuk on Thursday filed an appeal against a four-year jail sentence by an appellate court over a college admission fraud case involving her daughter.

A legal representative of Chung Kyung-sim, a professor at Dongyang University, filed the appeal with the Seoul High Court earlier Thursday, one day after the court found her guilty of charges related to the unfair college admission of her daughter and upheld a four-year jail term handed by a lower court.

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 reportedly blamed the admissions system for her crimes and shifted responsibility for the false documents to the people who wrote them as a favor to the family. The professor was also indicted on charges of financial misconduct and convicted of some of them.

On Wednesday, Chung's attorney expressed regret at the appellate ruling, saying it is "frustrating" that the bench applied today's standards to an admissions system that was in place a decade ago.

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 children's academic credentials and school scholarship, as well as his family's suspicious private equity investments.

Kim Chil-joon, a lawyer for Chung Kyung-sim, wife of former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, speaks to reporters at the Seoul High Court on Aug. 11, 2021, after attending her sentencing hearing over allegations of academic fraud. The appellate court found Chung, 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. (Yonhap)

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