Two arrested on stock price manipulation charges

By Korea Herald
  • Published : May 13, 2013 - 20:58
  • Updated : May 13, 2013 - 20:58
Two former senior officials of a now-delisted local display panel manufacturer have been indicted on charges of making millions of dollars in illegal profits through stock manipulation, prosecutors said Monday.

This is the first arrest by the government’s joint investigation team on security crimes, which was launched earlier this month as part of efforts to swiftly investigate price-rigging activities. The team involves dozens of officials from the prosecution, the Financial Services Commission, the Financial Supervisory Service and the Korea Exchange.

The suspects ― former head of LNP Honors, Inc. surnamed Shin and its largest shareholder surnamed Lee ― were arrested for making illegal profits worth 95 billion won ($8.53 million) through manipulating their firm’s stock prices, according to the prosecutors.

The suspects allegedly submitted more than 10,000 false orders in collusion with brokers over a 15-month period from June 2008 to push up the company’s share price in an aim to increase their firm’s capital by issuing new shares.

The manufacturing firm’s stock was delisted from the tech-heavy KOSDAQ market in December 2011.

After conducting a thorough probe into the suspects, the team plans to expand the investigation into the brokers and other company officials suspected of being involved in the case, according to the prosecutors.

“It is the first case that the joint team has charged price-rigging suspects. Thanks to its fast-track investigations, it took just 18 days from the financial authorities’ spotting of their suspicious transactions and to officially charge them on Sunday,” an official of the team said.

The launch of the joint investigative team, which is part of the government’s comprehensive countermeasures against price-rigging crimes announced last month, is aimed to swiftly and sternly deal with market abuse by streamlining the investigation process that takes generally more than a year to complete.

President Park Geun-hye vowed during last year’s presidential campaign to stem unlawful acts on the stock market as they have resulted in financial losses for retail investors, hurting the livelihoods of the underprivileged. (Yonhap News)