Kukmin Ilbo head summoned over embezzlement allegations
Prosecutors summoned Cho Min-je, chairman of a Christian-based newspaper, Tuesday for allegedly embezzling billions of won from an affiliate company.
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office grilled the 42-year-old chairman of the Kukmin Ilbo to investigate allegations that he misappropriated company funds from Digiwave, an audio system provider for mega churches.
The prosecution did not reveal details on the exact amount.
“We have hard evidence after tracking his bank accounts and securing testimony from his close aides,” an investigator said.
The embezzlement of funds from Digiwave, which also produced a typeset system for daily newspapers, came amid industrial action by the union of the Kukmin Ilbo. Unionized reporters have been on strike since Dec. 23, calling for Cho to resign.
They are against his move to mobilize the newspaper for personal purposes. The paper was founded by his father, Rev. Cho Yong-gi who also established the country’s largest church, the Yoido Full Gospel Church.
The younger Cho has been on trial since November last year on a separate case of dereliction of duty. He was charged for causing a 4.5-billion-won loss to a waste management company he had taken over.
He was “very uncooperative” with the prosecution at that time by refusing summons, an investigator said. “Now Cho has turned himself in after all these allegations, and we’ll conduct a thorough investigation.”