A lower court on Friday handed down prison sentences to Koo Cha-won, chairman of embattled LIG Group, and his eldest son following convictions for fraud.
Seoul Central District Court sentenced Koo to three years in prison for inflicting losses on minor shareholders by fraudulently issuing commercial papers. The 77-year-old chairman was put in prison immediately after the verdict.
Koo Bon-sang, his first son and the vice chairman of LIG Nex1, was given eight years in prison on the same charge.
They allegedly issued commercial papers worth some 215 billion won ($198 million) to some 1,000 investors between late February and early March 2011 under the name of LIG Engineering and Construction, a company that was teetering on the brink of court receivership.
The chairman “was directly notified of important reports about LIG Construction and engaged in management,” the Seoul Central District Court said.
Koo Cha-won became the second tycoon to go to prison this year after SK chairman Chey Tae-won, who was sentenced to four years in prison in January for embezzling corporate funds for stock investment.
On Friday, the court also sentenced LIG Corp. CEO Oh Chun-seok and Chung Jong-oh, a former executive of LIG Engineering and Construction, to four years in prison, respectively. Koo’s second son Bon-yeop, a former vice president of LIG Construction, who had been indicted without detention, was found not guilty.
By Oh Kyu-wook