Korean businessman alleged to have embezzled company funds

SEOUL, July 5 (Yonhap) -- A Korean businessman found by a local online news outlet to have set up a paper company in a tax haven has allegedly embezzled company funds worth billions of won, the news organization said Friday.

The Korea Center for Investigative Journalism (KCIJ) accused Oh Jung-hyun, the former chief executive of now-defunct electronics material maker SSCP Corp., of embezzling 83 billion won (US$72.8 million) from his own company over the past six years, according to the independent news media's Web channel Newstapa.com.

The KCIJ findings revealed that a total of 83.3 billion won has been moved to Oh's personal account from the business account since 2007.

Last month the KCIJ revealed that Oh established one or more shell companies in popular tax havens including the British Virgin Islands, raising suspicions that he may have used them as a channel to move slush funds overseas or avoid taxes.

Oh had inherited the KOSDAQ-listed company from his father in 2002, but his management only lasted 10 years after the company was liquidated due to a cash shortage, incurring massive losses for minor shareholders. Oh has been since sued by investors for embezzlement and on negligence charges.

Even after the bankruptcy, Oh paid some 18 million won for a three-month rental of a luxury car, the KCIJ said, adding that he is trying to buy back his company.

Oh has denied the allegations, saying he has no intention of taking part in the company management.

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