The Korea Herald


Lotte Group women rise to the surface due to scandal

By Korea Herald

Published : July 5, 2016 - 14:58

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[THE INVESTOR] Now that an arrest warrant has been issued for Lotte Foundation chief Shin Young-ja -- the first Lotte founding family member to face imprisonment in the firm’s latest embezzlement scandal -- all eyes are on the women of Lotte Group who have so far stayed behind the scenes.

In addition to Young-ja, there are her daughters including Jang Sun-yoon, senior vice president of Hotel Lotte, and also Lotte founder Shin Kyuk-ho’s third wife Seo Mi-kyung and her daughter Shin Yu-mi who are both involved in Lotte’s business affairs.

“Lotte Group has long had a male-dominant corporate culture, so until now, it was difficult for the women to stand out,” said one industry watcher close to the matter. 

The prosecution has already traced corporate funds that Young-ja funneled to her son and daughters, but it said for now, it has no plans to question her children.

“It’s fairly unlikely for the recipients (of such funds) to be branded as accomplices, so for now we have no plans to question Shin Young-ja’s children,” said one official of the Seoul prosecutors’ office on the condition of anonymity.

However, some industry watchers believe Kyuk-ho’s third wife and their daughter Yu-mi, who is currently an adviser to Hotel Lotte, may be called in for questioning.

Prosecutors are currently investigating into whether some of the firms they owned were used by the Lotte founding family to create slush funds.

By Kim Ji-hyun (