Go to Contents Go to Navigation

Key suspect in Seongnam land scandal additionally indicted for embezzlement

National 15:52 May 16, 2022

SEOUL, May 16 (Yonhap) -- A key suspect in a land development corruption scandal in Seongnam, just south of Seoul, has been additionally indicted for embezzlement, prosecution officials said Monday.

Kim Man-bae, owner of Hwacheon Daeyu Asset Management, who is now standing trial on breach of trust and bribery charges related to the 2015 project to develop Seongnam's Daejang-dong district into apartment complexes, has been additionally indicted by the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office for embezzling 10 billion won (US$7.8 million) from his company, the officials said.

This file photo taken on Nov. 3, 2021, shows Kim Man-bae, owner of Hwacheon Daeyu Asset Management, appearing at a Seoul court for questioning about his criminal charges. (Yonhap)

The so-called Daejang-dong scandal, in which Hwacheon Daeyu and a small number of unheard-of private partners were allowed to reap astronomical investment profits, has drawn keen media attention because the project was launched when former Democratic Party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung was mayor of Seongnam.

Kim, a former journalist, is accused of personally spending 10 billion won out of 47.3 billion won that Hwacheon Daeyu lent to Cheonhwadongin No. 1, another partner in the Daejang-dong project, and delivering the money to a businessman, surnamed Lee, who was in charge of selling newly built apartments from 2014 to 2015. Lee then gave all or part of the money to a civil construction company that had unsuccessfully lobbied for some civil business rights in the Daejang-dong district.

Lee, the businessman, is said to be a distant relative of former special counsel Park Young-soo who investigated a corruption scandal involving former President Park Geun-hye in 2017.

But Kim's lawyers denied the embezzlement charges, arguing that the 10 billion won was spent through approval by Hwacheon Daeyu's board of directors and legitimate accounting procedures.

ycm@yna.co.kr
(END)

HOME TOP
Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!