SOUTH KOREA: Former Daewoo chairman indicted for fraud
Associated Press reports that Kim Woo-choong , the former chairman of collapsed South Korean conglomerate Daewoo Group, was indicted Friday on $71 billion in fraud charges after living nearly six years abroad on the run.
Kim Woo-choong, who returned to South Korea last month after fleeing the country in 1999, is accused of having falsified Daewoo's accounts to draw billions of dollars in illegal bank loans before diverting them overseas.
Kim was indicted on charges of $40 billion in accounting fraud, obtaining $9 billion in illegal financing and diverting $22 billion, the Supreme Public Prosecutors's Office said in a statement.
Police and prosecutors believe Kim, 69, had been travelling in Europe since leaving South Korea, and that he acquired French citizenship during his trip, AP reported. He left the country in October 1999 before charges were prepared, first heading for a Daewoo auto component factory in Yantai, China.
Kim could potentially face a maximum sentence of life in prison, though given his age, former stature in South Korea and public expression of remorse upon arrival it's doubtful he would serve much time if convicted, AP said.