Second South Korean Top Business Leader Charged in Park Corruption Scandal
South Korean prosecutors Monday indicted the second top businessman suspected of involvement in the bribery scandal that led to the arrest of ex-President Park Geun-hye and her childhood friend.
Shin Dong-bin, the chairman of one of the country’s ten biggest companies - the retail giant Lotte Group - was indicted with paying US$ 6.16 million in bribes to President Park Geun-hye’s friend Choi Soon-sil.
Park was also indicted Monday for helping her friend extort donations from South Korea’s leading companies in return for political favors.
Her 18 criminal charges include demanding and receiving bribes, abuse of power, leaking state secrets and coercion, the Australian Financial Review reported.
Lotte’s Shin Dong-bin is accused of paying a sports foundation controlled by Choi Soon-sil in return for a duty-free operating license at Lotte World Tower in Seoul, the fifth tallest building in the world, the Gulf Times reported.
He joins Lee Jae-yong, the heir to the Samsung business empire, who was arrested and indicted end of February with similar accusations.
The Lotte Group’s business empire, founded by Shin’s father, encompasses restaurants, hotels, department stores, theme parks, chemical production and film distribution. Its assets include Belgian chocolate and New York’s Palace Hotel.
Last October Shin, his father and elder brother were indicted in a separate investigation into embezzlement and breach of trust, according to the Gulf Times.