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Daewoo founder gets 10 years

Thursday, 1 June 2006 ( #262 ) - SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of
Daewoo Group founder Kim Woo Chung was sentenced to 10 years' jail on Tuesday for his role in a 40 trillion won (USD42.31 billion) fraud. The Courier-Mail reported the Seoul Central District Court ordered Kim pay KRW21 trillion (USD22.2 billion) in fines and forfeitures. Prosecutors had sought a 15-year term and a KRW23 trillion (USD24.3 billion) won fine. Kim, who surrendered to South Korean authorities after six years on the run, built South Korea's second largest industrial group before fleeing the country when the business collapsed in 1999. He was accused of KRW40 trillion (USD42.3 billion) of fraudulent accounting by Daewoo, illegally borrowing KRW9.8 trillion (USD10.4 billion) and illicitly transferring USD3.2 billion overseas. In 1999, Daewoo owed foreign and domestic creditors KRW87 trillion (USD92.0 billion). Its business units were broken up and sold, and a group led by General Motors acquired Daewoo Motor. Daewoo Heavy Industries separated from the group in August 1999. Its machinery division, which built forklifts, became a separate entity called Daewoo Heavy Industries & Machinery (DHIM) in October 2000 (Forkliftaction.com News #11). In May 2005, Doosan Heavy Industries acquired a controlling stake in DHIM for KRW1.69 trillion (USD1.79 billion) (Forkliftaction.com News #210).

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