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Nexon founder steps down from board amid corruption scandal

Nexon founder Kim Jung-ju on Friday officially stepped down from the company's board, following his indictment earlier in the day on suspicious stock transactions and bribery.

Kim is charged with providing some 920 million won ($821,000) in bribes to Jin Kyung-joon, a South Korean senior prosecutor and college friend of Kim. Jin was arrested and indicted on Friday, and subsequently dismissed from his post.

“I express my deepest apology to everyone,” Kim said in a statement. “I committed a grave wrongdoing by overlooking the most basic public rules in dealing with my personal relationships.”

Nexon founder Kim Jung-ju (Yonhap)
Nexon founder Kim Jung-ju (Yonhap)

“I will forever remember and live with my wrongdoings, regardless of the legal ruling,” he said. Though Kim will no longer serve as a board member of Nexon, he will retain his post as chief executive of NXC Corp., Nexon's holding company..

The “Nexongate” scandal first came to light in April when a local corporate governance watchdog referred Jin to the prosecution after he reported a sudden increase in his assets in March.

The Nexon founder allegedly handed Jin 425 million won in 2005, which the senior prosecutor used to purchase some 10,000 Nexon shares, helping him amass some 12 billion won in profit through stock transactions by 2015.

Kim also is suspected of having footed the bill of around 50 million won for Jin’s travel expenses and spending another 30 million to lease a car for Kim.

By Sohn Ji-young (jys@heraldcorp.com)
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