A team of investigators at the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office that specializes in stock-market crime cases said it had searched the office of Lee You-jung, a lawyer at One Law Partners in Seoul’s Gangnam area, as well as three other places, Monday.
Lee is suspected of reaping profits of about 570 million won after buying 10,000 shares in a local biotech company before it went public. The biotech company was her firm’s client at the time.
The lawyer, a member of an organization made up of politically progressive lawyers called Minbyun or Lawyers for a Democratic Society, was nominated as a Constitutional Court justice by President Moon Jae-in in August last year. But after the allegation concerning illegal stock trading emerged at her confirmation hearing at the National Assembly, she voluntarily resigned 25 days after being nominated.
She is accused of buying shares in Naturalendo Tech and selling them after she learned from the head of the law firm that the company was planning an initial public offering.
The prosecution also plans to investigate other lawyers at the firm and is expected to summon Lee.
In last year’s parliamentary interpellation sessions, Rep. Ji Sang-wuk of the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party alleged that 38 of the firm’s 48 lawyers had invested in Naturalendo Tech.
In July, the Financial Services Commission requested an investigation of Lee and three other lawyers at the same firm, saying they may have breached an investment-related law prohibiting the use of information gained during the course of business that has not been disclosed to the public.
By Jo He-rim (firstname.lastname@example.org)