Kim Woo-choong, once a business icon in South Korea, was sentenced to 10 years in jail and ordered to forfeit $21 billion after being found guilty for financial crimes by a Seoul judge.

Judge Noh Yu-kyong said that Kim, 70, had contributed to Daewoo's bankruptcy, disregarded corporate ethics and damaged Korea's image. Kim founded and built Korea's second-largest company, the Daewoo Group, before prosecutors said that he began inflating the assets of four Daewoo subsidiaries and borrowing illegally, using doctored accounting books and fake letters of credit .

Kim fled South Korea in 1999 and returned in 2005 to be indicted on charges of orchestrating a $39 billion accounting fraud, another $9.7 billion in illegal financing, and diverting $23 billion out of the country.

Kim will not start serving his sentence until July 28 because of his age and poor health. He was returned to hospital after the court hearing. His lawyers said that they will appeal because the court had failed to recognize his contributions to Korea.

Previously on WebCPA:

Trial of Former Daewoo Head Begins (Aug. 10, 2005)

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access