A Seoul court on Tuesday sentenced the chief of one of the country’s major newspapers to three years behind bars for embezzling tens of millions of dollars.
Chang Jae-ku, chairman of the Hankook Ilbo media group that includes several dailies, magazines and a cable television channel, was found guilty of embezzling company funds worth a total of 45.6 billion won ($40.8 million) from the Hankook Ilbo ― the group’s flagship newspaper ― and its sister publication the Seoul Economic Daily.
“The owner of a media group should follow the law and proper order under a strict legal and moral standard,” Judge Yu Sang-jae of the Seoul Central District Court said in his ruling.
“The defendant, however, committed a host of crimes after disregarding the rule of law and clear accounting processes,” he added.
Court records showed that Chang siphoned off the money for his personal use and caused the group further financial losses by offering business benefits to his creditors.
Last year, the unionized reporters of the Hankook Ilbo asked the prosecution to investigate Chang for alleged corruption. The management responded by firing the daily’s editor-in-chief, banning most unionized reporters from entering the newsroom and withholding their salaries. (Yonhap)