Prosecutors have secured enough evidence backing up suspicions that SK Group owners embezzled nearly 100 billion won (US$89.5 million) in company funds for personal stock market investments, investigation sources said Wednesday.
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office is investigating allegations that SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won and his younger brother Vice Chairman Jae-won embezzled 99.2 billion won from subsidiaries.
Eighteen affiliates of SK Group, whose key business interests range from telecommunications to oil refinery, made a joint investment worth 280 billion won in venture capital company Benex Investment headed by former SK Group executive Kim Jun-hong.
Of the total, about 99.2 billion won had reportedly been diverted back to former employee Kim Won-hong, now hiding in China, who manages a market investment fund for the two owners.
Prosecutors searched the headquarters of SK affiliates in central Seoul on Tuesday as part of their investigation into the embezzlement allegations. In the search, prosecutors are believed to have seized evidence backing the accusations, the sources said.
The money sent back to the brothers has reportedly been used to make bets in stock futures, which purportedly led in part to the chairman's investment loss of 100 billion won.