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Orion chairman, ex-execs to clash in court

[THE INVESTOR] Orion Group Chairman Tam Chul-kon, one of some 10 chaebol owners who are likely to receive special presidential pardons on Aug. 15, is expected to wage a legal battle with former executives.

On Aug. 2, three former Orion executives filed a petition to Cheong Wa Dae and the Ministry of Justice, seeking the cancellation of the the planned presidential pardon for Tam. 

Orion Group Chairman Tam Chul-kon.
Orion Group Chairman Tam Chul-kon.

Orion is a confectionery and media giant that is best known for its steady-seller Choco Pie. 

The son-in-law of the late Orion founder Lee Yang-gu was indicted for embezzling corporate funds worth 30 billion won (US$27 million) in 2011 but received a suspended prison term for five years. His wife Lee Hwa-kyung is the group's vice chairman. 

“We also plan to file civil and criminal complaints against him for forcing employees to perjure about his embezzlement, breach of trust, tax evasion and his other crimes,” the former executives said in a statement.

Orion also fought back, saying the group will file a lawsuit against the former execs on charges of defamation and obstruction of business.

“A court has already made a ruling on the case. They are making false claims,” a company official said.

By Lee Ji-yoon (