Lotte: Billionaire boss jailed for 30 months for bribery in South Korea

The South Korean firm facing China's wrath

A South Korean court docket has despatched one other of the nation’s strongest bosses to jail.

Shin Dong-bin, the billionaire chairman of conglomerate Lotte Group, was sentenced to 2 and a half years in jail after he was discovered responsible of bribery Tuesday.

The trial of Shin, 62, adopted an enormous influence-peddling scandal that gripped the nation and introduced down the federal government of former President Park Geun-hye.

Associated: South Korea’s corruption scandal ensnares 2nd high boss

Shin was discovered responsible of bribing an in depth confidante of Park. Prosecutors mentioned Lotte donated 7 billion received ($6.four million) to a basis linked to Park’s pal and obtained a authorities license for its obligation free enterprise in return.

Shin has denied any wrongdoing. In an interview with CNN final 12 months, he mentioned he wasn’t fearful about ending up behind bars as a result of he is harmless.

Now he is turn out to be the most recent instance of the comfortable ties between South Korea’s enterprise and political elites. The scandal involving the previous president and the nation’s greatest corporations introduced a whole bunch of hundreds of protesters into the streets in late 2016.

Within the reckoning that adopted, Lee Jae-yong, the de facto head of the Samsung (SSNLF) enterprise empire, was discovered responsible of bribery and different expenses in August.

Lee walked free final week after his five-year jail sentence was suspended and lowered by an appeals court docket.

Associated: Samsung chief walks free after jail sentence suspended

Lotte mentioned Tuesday that Shin may even attraction.

“We’re in distress with this surprising end result,” the corporate mentioned in a press release. “Now we have pleaded not responsible and defended [Shin] all through the trial with proof, however this proof was not acknowledged and we’re dismayed.”

The corporate mentioned it would go into “emergency working mode” to ease worries amongst staff, prospects and buyers.

Shares in Lotte’s retail division closed down four% in Seoul.

Shin was convicted on the identical day as Choi Quickly-sil, the previous confidante of President Park. Choi obtained a 20-year jail sentence for expenses together with abuse of energy, coercion, fraud and bribery.

Park, the nation’s first feminine president, is on trial on expenses of corruption, coercion and leaking confidential info. She has pleaded not responsible.

Associated: South Korea’s lengthy historical past of sunshine sentences for enterprise leaders

Tuesday’s convictions come as South Korea hosts the Winter Olympics.

Lotte, like Samsung, is an official companion of the occasion. It mentioned it would proceed to assist the video games.

It’s the newest setback for the family-run conglomerate, whose wide selection of companies embrace sweet, retail, lodges and development.

Lotte’s enterprise in China got here beneath fireplace final 12 months over a controversial U.S. missile protection system. Dozens of Lotte shops in China closed and work on a theme park in the nation was suspended after it agreed handy over land to the South Korean authorities to deal with the system.

— Jung-eun Kim and Jethro Mullen contributed to this report.

CNNMoney (Hong Kong) First printed February 13, 2018: 5:30 AM ET

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