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Lotte Chairman and Family Members Indicted Over Financial Corruption

By October 20, 2016 at 10:34 pm
China's boycott of Lotte intensifies. (Photo : Getty )

As many as 22 current and former officials of Lotte Group have been indicted as a result of a corruption probe that was made public in June, according to South Korean prosecutors, Reuters reported. 

The indicted are likely to undergo trials in the months to come. 

Five family members including Lotte's founder, Shin Kyuk-ho, 94, and the group's current chair, Shin Dong-bin, 61, allegedly avoided a total $76 million in taxes and embezzled $46 million in company funds, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said in a statement, reports The Japan Times. 

"We will clearly explain the issues that the prosecution deems problematic," a Lotte Group spokesman told Reuters.

"We have been seriously reflecting on what efforts Lotte should make for society and for the national economy," South Korea's No. 5 conglomerate said in a statement. "We will continue to strive to build a good company."

Shin has not been detained and is presumed innocent unless a court rules otherwise. The Seoul Central District Court in September turned down prosecutors' request for an arrest warrant for Shin after he appeared at a court hearing.

Shin thus can keep running Lotte Group for the foreseeable future, and business at Lotte is now expected to normalize. 

The group may not be able to resume the IPO while trials continue, but plans are in place to announce measures to improve governance while also seeking mergers and acquisitions, a person with knowledge of the group's discussions told Reuters.

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