A convicted property mogul under public criticism for receiving a court ruling widely seen as unjust pledged Friday to pay off the remainder of unpaid fines and made a public apology for “causing public concern.”
Huh Jae-hoh, the former chairman of the now-defunct Daeju Group convicted of embezzlement and tax evasion, was allowed by a district court in 2010 to pay off his fines of 25.4 billion won ($23.66 million) through 50 days of manual labor at a prison facility.
The court ruling caused a public uproar, as it meant that the tycoon’s prison labor was valued at 500 million won a day, up to 10,000 times higher than the normal daily wage of an inmate.
“I sincerely regret causing concern to the public and citizens of Gwangju,” Huh said at a press conference in front of the Gwangju District Prosecutors’ Office in the southwestern city of Gwangju.
After controversies erupted, prosecutors last month released Huh from the facility, vowing to levy the remaining 22.4 billion won in fines after deducting six days of prison labor.
“I have already paid 4.95 billion won,” Huh said, adding that he will pay the rest as soon as possible after selling off his assets.
Despite the former chairman’s public apology, the prosecution office said it will continue tracking down Huh’s hidden assets until the remaining fines are fully collected. (Yonhap)