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South Korean tycoon can't use jail work to pay off $30m fine for embezzlement, tax evasion

Published on Mar 26, 2014 8:16 PM

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korean prosecutors on Wednesday overturned a controversial landmark ruling allowing a convicted property mogul to pay off a multimillion-dollar fine with 49 days of prison labour, a report said.

Seoul's Supreme Court sparked outrage in 2011 when it ruled that former Daeju group head Huh Jae Ho would be able to undertake the jail work rather than paying 25.4 billion won (S$30 million) following a conviction for embezzlement and tax evasion.

Local media at the time said the treatment of the now 71-year-old was typical of the South Korean judicial system's leniency towards business tycoons who have erred on the wrong side of the law.

But the prosecutors office Wednesday said Huh, who recently returned to South Korea after four years on the run, would soon be released from prison and forced to pay the fine, Yonhap news agency reported.

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