The Korea Herald


Prosecutors seek arrest warrant for lawyer embroiled in lobbying scandal

By 김다솔

Published : May 11, 2016 - 21:29

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Prosecutors on Wednesday sought an arrest warrant for a lawyer over allegations she illegally took money to lobby public officials on behalf of the chief of the South Korean cosmetics brand Nature Republic, officials said Tuesday.

The judge-turned-lawyer Choi You-jeong is suspected of peddling her influence over the ruling on Jung's overseas gambling charges after receiving some billions of won in legal fees. 

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said Choi allegedly received 2 billion won (US$1.7 million) as a retainer in return for lobbying public officials to release Jung on bail, which ended in failure, in violation of the attorneys-at-law act. 

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

Prosecutors said the 45-year-old lawyer was arrested on Monday in the country's southwestern city of Jeonju. Her office manager, surnamed Kwon, was also arrested for trying to destroy evidence. 

The arrest happened a few days after prosecutors launched a series of raids on Choi's office, the headquarters of the cosmetics company and district tax offices.

Jung Woon-ho, CEO of Nature Republic, was indicted in October on charges of gambling in billiard halls between 2012 and 2014 in several Asian countries, including the Philippines and Macao. 

Last month, the Seoul High court handed down an eight-month jail term to Jung, reduced from the original one-year sentence meted out by a lower court. (Yonhap)