In April 2013, attorney Mr. Wonil Chung successfully obtained a Supreme Court’s ruling which overturned lower court’s decision in connection with the sponsored links, Internet keyword advertising services, operated by Overture Services Inc., a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Yahoo! Inc. Before this ruling from the Supreme Court of South Korea, there had been an increased controversy over whether Overture system user’s deployment of an automated program to access to the sponsored links could fall into a crime causing a harm to the Internet network system. In this case, attorney Mr. Chung argued before the Supreme Court of South Korea that it cannot constitute a statutory crime, otherwise the result would be an over-reaching of Korean criminal statute and cause an excessive chilling effect on the free access to the Internet. Responding to Mr. Chung’s arguments, the Supreme Court of South Korea held that it does not constitute a statutory crime of interference with stable operation of the Internet network. With its ruling, the Court struck down the prosecutor’s attempt of excessive criminalization and reinforced online service user’s right of free and unrestricted access to the Continue reading
South Korean police raided Google’s Seoul office on August 2 on suspicion that Google’s Seoul office has illegally gathered personal information for its street mapping service. The Korean police is investigating whether Google has violated “Protection of Communications Secrets Act”(PCSA) or “Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection”.
For example, according to the PCSA, no person shall censor any mail, wiretap any telecommunications, provide the communication confirmation data, record or listen to conversations between others that are not made public. It is reported that Continue reading
We’ve been asked about a criminal charge against an adultery under Korean criminal law quite often. Foreign employees in Korean should be cautious that adultery is a crime under Korean law. Here is a real example of such a case where a foreign officer committed an adultery and the company(employer)’s legal concern made them ask for some legal consultation to our law firm regarding the adultery law and criminal law process in Korea.
Q) Mr. XX, who is a head director of our company, committed an adultery and was charged by the Korean prosecutor. He has confessed his guilty and the prosecutor demanded one year’s imprisonment for his crime to the court. If the court finalizes that Mr. XX is guilty, does that mean Mr. XX will be imprisonment for one year or lesser?
A) Finding guilty does not always mean Mr. XX will be imprisoned. The Court may SUSPEND the imprisonment for certain years even though Mr. XX is guilty. The Korean Criminal Act provides that a married person who commits adultery shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than two years. However, the Act also provides the execution of the sentence for an adultery can be Continue reading
Last December 23, the Seoul Central Prosecutors’ Office prosecuted NHN corporation, the operator of Naver (the largest Internet portal in Korea) and Daum Communications Co., the operatot of Daum for copyright infringement.
The prosecutors said two Internet portals have been aiding copyright infringement of their users by ignoring copyright holders(The Korea Music Copyright Association and the Korea Association of Phonogram Producers) request for removing illegal music files on their sites and taking no actions. The prosecutors found 10 millions of uploaded music files Continue reading
Last September, Supreme Porsecutors Office(SPO) investigated the ex-head of Military Mutual Aid Association(MMAA) and his son as they had received 30,000 stocks of Kenertec, a Korean Energy company, from its representative in response to securing investments from the MMAA.
Mr. Wonil Chung, a partner of Chung & Partners, represented the son and succeeded in making the SPO drop the charge and not prosecuting him.
Afterward, the SPO prosecuted only the ex-head of MMAA to the court, but last Friday, Seoul Central District Court sentenced not guilty stating there is no evidence that supports there had happened any illegal activities.
Under Korean Criminal Law, a person who, administering other’s business, receives property or obtains advantage from a 3rd party in response to an illegal solicitation concerning his duty, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 5 yeard or by a fine not exceeding 10 million won.
Established in 1984 as a special organization under the Ministry of National Defense, the MMAA administers assistance for military personnel and veterans. It has 160,000 members and its assets are valued at 7.8 trillion won ($5.94 billion). The organization has seven businesses and recorded a total profit of 153.7 billion won last year.
This case had drawn big attentions within Korean society because of the MMAA’s powerful position in Korea’s financing & investment market and new government and SPO’s attempt to scrape out public enterprises’ corruption. But at least in this case, Continue reading
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 which 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 meeting of 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 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). Continue reading
It was reported that a former senior executive at the Korean unit of Lehman Brothers, a U.S. investment banking firm, was arrested for conspiring in one of the biggest stock price manipulations in Korea. Seoul Central Prosecutors Office said on May 5 it had arrested a 41-year-old former executive director at Lehman Brothers’ Seoul Office. Continue reading