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FTC files complaint against Booyoung chief for falsifying reports

The Fair Trade Commission filed a complaint with the prosecution Sunday against the head of local construction giant Booyoung Group for falsifying reports to the state-run antitrust agency, officials said.

Booyoung Chairman Lee Joong-keun is accused of excluding seven companies being managed by his relatives from a list of the group’s subsidiaries, and possessing shares in six affiliates under borrowed names.

The 76-year-old tycoon is the seventh-richest man in South Korea with unlisted stock assets valued at $2.3 billion, according to The Investor.

Booyoung Chairman Lee Joong-keun
Booyoung Chairman Lee Joong-keun
It is the first case of the FTC taking punitive actions against a South Korean conglomerate since Kim Sang-jo -- a longtime advocate of shareholders’ rights -- took office.

The case, however, has nothing to do with Kim’s entry into the public office, FTC said, adding that the office made a decision to take such action four days before he was nominated by President Moon Jae-in.

Booyoung Group said that its submission of misstated reports for years was not “intentional” and there was no financial gains for possessing shares under borrowed names.

Korean law stipulates that misstatements of reports to the FTC are subject to legal punishment of up to two years behind bars or fines of up to 150 million won ($132,300)

By Son Ji-hyoung (consnow@heraldcorp.com)
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