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Ex-GNP lawmaker convicted again

Gong Sung-jin
Gong Sung-jin
A disgraced former ruling party lawmaker was sentenced to another suspended prison term on Friday for receiving illegal political funds from a troubled savings bank struggling to avoid regulatory penalties.

The Seoul Central District Court sentenced Gong Sung-Jin, 59, to a six-month prison term, suspended for one year. The court also ordered the former lawmaker forfeit nearly 172 million won ($153,000) he received from Samhwa Mutual Savings Bank before the bank had its business suspended by the financial regulator early last year.

The court’s decision confirmed prosecutors’ charges against Gong, that he took more than 170 million won from the savings bank through his younger sister’s bank accounts from 2005-08 in breach of the Political Fund Law.

Dozens of troubled savings banks had their business suspended by the financial watchdog last year due to illegal lending and capital shortages. The bulk of the suspended banks were found to have lavishly lobbied lawmakers and politicians in order to cover up massive losses and avoid suspension.

The latest court decision for Gong followed another ruling by the Supreme Court in June last year, in which he was sentenced to a suspended eight-month prison term for taking 200 million won from a businessman. Gong, formerly a two-term lawmaker affiliated with the Grand National Party, was dismissed from his parliamentary seat due to the June ruling. 

(Yonhap News)
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