A South Korean court on Monday (March 20) began the trial of owning family members of Lotte Group over a corruption scandal that hit the country’s fifth largest conglomerate last year.
Lotte Group founder Shin Kyuk-ho, appeared at Seoul Central District Court along with his eldest son, Shin Dong-joo, his common-law wife, Seo Mi-kyung, and his second eldest son who is now chairman of the group, Shin Dong-bin.
In October last year, South Korean prosecutors indicted 22 current and former officials of Lotte Group including Chairman Shin Dong-bin, as well as two entire group companies. The announcement marked the end of an investigation during which billion-dollar deals involving Lotte collapsed.
Prosecutors charged Shin Dong-bin with embezzlement of about 50.8 billion won ($45.2 million), and breach of trust involving about 124.9 billion won for perceived involvement in irregular payments to family members and unlawful support of group companies.
Lotte group is meanwhile being separately investigated in relation to the graft scandal that led to Park Geun-hye’s being dismissed as president on March 10, Yonhap news agency said last week.