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A Different Kind of Game . . .

The image of South Korean CEOs avoiding jail by appearing in court in wheelchairs has been a bit common but a South Korean judge has decided to start a new trend by remitting convicted embezzler Kim Seung-youn (Hanwha) directly to the jail house. This is the same Chaebol head who illegally gave money to politicians in 2004 and personally beat several bar workers with a pipe, in 2007, after they had jumped on his son, who was drunk at that time.  Mr, Kim received a pardon from President Lee at that time.

Per Choe Sang-hun (article here):

For years, South Korean courts have been perceived as lenient toward businessmen who face corruption charges. Since 1990, the heads of seven of the country’s top 10 family-controlled conglomerates, including the Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee and the Hyundai Automotive chairman Chung Mong-koo, have been sentenced to a combined 22.5 years in prison for crimes including bribery, embezzlement and tax evasion. None of the seven spent more then a few months behind bars. Their sentences were suspended by judges . . . As the country gears up for a presidential election in December, calls for tougher punishment of corruption have become increasingly loud, and the presidential hopefuls have all vowed to rein in the influence of South Korean conglomerates, known as chaebol.

Naturally Saenuri Party leader Lee Hye-hoon commented on this before the judge ruled “As long as we don’t end this wrong practice of pardoning the chaebol heads, it will be as difficult for us to eradicate irregularities and injustice in our society as it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.” (A Jesus quote is always golden and tasty like waffles).

As Mr. Choe points out, this “The first sign of tougher sentences for the South Korean business elite came in February when Lee Ho-jin, the chairman of a relatively minor chaebol called Taekwang Group, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for embezzlement and was immediately jailed.”

Please read Mr. Choe’s article, which is quite rich in content.

About the author: Psst, want to buy some used marble cheap?

  • DLBarch

    FYI, here’s the trailer for that “Unbowed” film about the Sungkyunkwan professor’s bow-and-arrow attack on a dodgy Korean judge:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPaQsjWY9Y8

    Looks gooooooood. And it even stars Ahn Sung-gi. Woo-hoo!

    DLB

  • R. Elgin

    Don’t forget also that judges can be good eating but they are usually out of season so . . .

  • WangKon936

    Elgin,

    IMHO, you need a new theme for pictures regarding this subject matter:

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2010/08/14/flavor-of-the-month-10/

  • CactusMcHarris

    And it’s an item on the NYT’s electronic afternoon update.

    And, dang if he doesn’t look like Chun Doo Hwan’s love child.

  • CactusMcHarris
  • DLBarch

    BTW, since I already expressed by views on the Seoul court’s Hanwha decision over on the Open Thread, let me just add — without belittling the seriousness of the assault — how incredible it is to see a public attack on a government official with a BOW AND ARROW!

    Somewhere in America, there’s a 2nd Amendment NRA gun nut going ape-shit crazy right about now.

    DLB

  • WangKon936

    CMH,

    That’s a much better pic to use for this post.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ Jeffery Hodges

    “Kim Seung-youn (Hanwha) . . . personally beat several bar workers with a pipe, in 2007, after they had jumped on his son . . .”

    Appa Gangland Style (“아빠 강란드 스타일”)

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • CactusMcHarris

    BDLB,

    It wasn’t a bow and arrow (according to the NWT), it was a crossbow. For historical recreation games (those people are crazy) the longbow’s quite popular, too.

  • CactusMcHarris

    #8 Jeffery,

    You had to bring that up and I had to watch it again. I must say, I’m thinking with a little more work I’ll be a back-up dancer for him in his next video – this yangnim is startin’ to rock the shigol.

    Thank you, I think,

    Jeffrey

  • Q

    Now it’s time to bring Wall Street criminals to justice.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ Jeffery Hodges

    I think we need to produce a satirical video “Appa Gangland Style” and make millions when it goes viral!

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Q
  • redwhitedude

    #8,
    LOL!
    There’s a 2nd version of the song Gangnam style sung by Hyuna. She sounds more like squealing than singing.

  • jkitchstk

    No worries, Kim Seung-youn will be out in time to represent S. Korea for Sochi/2014 Winter Olympics. Only the utmost global Korean citizens like Mr. Kim qualifies.

  • Wedge

    There I was, scrolling down the comments when I saw a “Q” pop up above the fold. I thought to myself: “Cool, let’s see what tu quoque fallacy the guy comes up with this time. Could it be ‘Japan is much worse, their keiretsu chiefs get away with murder?’ Or maybe something off-the-wall like ‘American anti-immigrant racists are horrible?’ Nah, that doesn’t sound right this time. How about ‘Wall Street financiers are criminals?’” DING, DING, DING, DING… We have a winner!

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “The image of South Korean CEOs avoiding jail by appearing in court in wheelchairs has been a bit common but a South Korean judge has decided to start a new trend by remitting convicted embezzler Kim Seung-youn (Hanwha) directly to the jail house.”

    Not really, actually. He was probably sent to jail because he went to court in a blue business suit, not a hospital gown. ;)

  • SomeguyinKorea

    #14,

    Yeah, especially when she sings “Oppa!”. You’d think a gal who looks like her would have mastered that mating call.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    #13,

    Nice parody video. I don’t know if the fact the guy obviously works out is supposed to be part of the joke or not.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    #11,

    You need to realize that as the leader of the 10th largest conglomerate in South Korea, he may have been a sacrificial lamb. I wouldn’t bet that the upcoming trial of the head of SK ends up in the same manner.

  • brier

    Elections are in December. He’s out with a New Year’s pardon.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    #21,
    Yes, normally that’s what would happen…But, I’m not so sure this time.

  • R. Elgin

    Actually “Q” makes a point in that South Korean judges might be showing America the way.
    Consider the news leads from the NY Times recently that shows the reluctance of the SEC and DOJ to prosecute anyone from Goldman Sachs. Consider Solomon Wisenberg’s comment

    Traditionally, a bank would tell the Department of Justice when an employee engaged in crimes, but what do you do when the bank itself is run by a criminal enterprise? (source)

    and the latest arrest that made the news was of a Morgan Stanley executive that was caught taking bribes from a Chinese Government official (source).

    There are some clues that point to the reason why Mr. Kim and his associates were unceremoniously thrown into jail:

    - Saenuri expels Hyun for nomination scandal
    - elections in December
    Inference: If the Hanara Saenuri Party can’t reform itself, then they will focus on some of the symbols of inequality that plague their image.

    Expect more biblical quotes from now until December too since this will be a big taste sensation.

  • pineforest

    Maybe the next time I go home drunk and am in hot water with my wife, I should quietly wheel in to the bedroom in a wheelchair?

  • pineforest

    BTW that thuggish, low-brow gorilla from hanwha is just starting to get what he deserves.

  • kimchifrox

    When this Hanwha boss went to jail I was honestly impressed. When he came out again we (my ane and me) were really laughing.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    #24,

    I rarely go out drinking, but when I do, my wife falls asleep on the couch watching TV, waiting for me to come home. She gives me a hug when I nudge her to wake up and then goes to bed. It’s really sweat of her.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Sweet, of course.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    #25,

    Only if he’s put in the same population as the kind of people he had his goons hold down so he could beat them with an iron bar. But, I think he’s just gonna end up in Club Fed.

  • pineforest

    @ Someguy,
    Yeah, me too, actually… it was just a funny thought. Ok, well she doesn’t wait up, she goes to sleep if she’s tired.. but then she wakes up when I come in and is usually fine. Usually I’m the one that is a little miffed if the girls’ night out gets out of hand. :)

  • redwhitedude

    They should sentence these CEO crooks to million hours of community service and make them cough up a chunk of their fortune to a charitable cause in addition to serving their sentence.

    I guess the “too big to touch” reasoning has long since passed somewhat.