A Seoul appellate court on Thursday commuted a former top tax official's prison term to three and a half years for taking bribes from CJ Group, a food and entertainment conglomerate, in 2006.
Jeon Goon-pyo, 60, had received a four-year sentence from a lower court after he was found guilty of accepting $300,000 in U.S.
bills from CJ Group officials in exchange for favors during a tax audit into the conglomerate in July 2006, shortly after he was named commissioner of the National Tax Service (NTS).
The Seoul High Court said it decided to shorten Jeon's prison term by six months after considering his service as a public official.
The court also convicted Jeon of taking a high-end watch worth 35 million won from CJ Chairman Lee Jay-hyun as an inauguration gift at a Seoul hotel in October 2006.
The court, meanwhile, upheld a two and a half year prison term handed down to Heo Byung-ik, the NTS deputy commissioner at the time, for conspiring with Jeon to take the bribes.
"The defendants abandoned their duty to eradicate tax-related corruption and the people's expectation," judge Yim Seong-geun said in his ruling.
A bribery scandal involving the two former tax officials came to light after Chairman Lee was indicted for embezzlement and offshore tax evasion in a separate corruption case in 2013. (Yonhap)