Today just a few hours ago, the Seoul High Court sentenced partly not guilty to the head of U.S. private equity fund Lone Star’s South Korean operations (Lone Star Advisory Korea).
Last February Seoul Central District Court had sentenced all guilty and had detained Mr. Paul Yoo, the head of Lone Star Advisory Korea, for stock rigging and misappropriation charges. Also, the court had ordered Korea Exchange Bank and LSF-KEB Holdings SCA, a Belgium-based unit that holds Lone Star’s stake in KEB, to pay 25 billion won ($26.50 million) each in fines, saying both secured unfair profits as a result of the stock-rigging.
The defendants all had appealed and the Seoul Court today reversed and amended the lower court’s ruling, saying “as the Lone Star Fund did actually discuss a capital decrease in a meeting of the board of directors, there had been no falsehood in its reporting of possible capital decrease to the public and therefore no stock price manipulating”.
Also, the High court found not guilty in Mr. Paul Yoo’s tax evasion charge and also found not guilty in 2 out of 4 misappropriation charges against Mr. Paul Yoo. Finally, the court sentenced 2 and a half year of imprisonment to Mr. Paul Yoo, however, suspended the execution for 3 years. Mr. Paul Yoo Has been released out of prison today by the court’s decree(see the photo).
I think this ruling is very welcoming. I know there has been a lot of rumors and concerns among foreigners whether Korea’s judicial courts were not in favor of foreign capitals, which I’m very skeptical of. Anyway, I hope this Higher court’s ruling relieves their anxieties.
© 2008 Wonil Chung, a Korean Security Lawyer/Chung & Partners, a Korean Security Law Firm. All rights reserved. Some copyrights, photos, icons, trademarks, trade dress, or other commercial symbols that appear on this post are the property of the respective owners.