S. Korean regulator charged with bribes

Jan. 6, 2007 at 2:01 AM
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SEOUL, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- One of the top officials in South Korea's financial watchdog agency has been charged with taking kickbacks from a businessman involved in a bank takeover.

Kim Jung-hoe, vice governor of the Financial Supervisory Service, allegedly took the money from Kim Heung-ju, the former head of Grace Department Store in Seoul, the Yonhap news agency said. Kim Heung-ju, whose store went bankrupt three years ago, has been under investigation for alleged embezzlement and bad checks.

In 2001, Kim Heung-ju launched an unsuccessful takeover of the Gold Mutual Savings Bank. Prosecutors say Kim Jung-hoe, at the time in charge of overseeing non-bank financial institutions for FSS, introduced him to officials at Gold and tried to help him with the takeover.

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