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SKorea tycoon charged with embezzlement

The head of South Korean food and entertainment giant CJ Group was charged today with embezzlement and tax evasion, prosecutors said, as Seoul seeks to rein in family-controlled business groups.

Lee Jae-Hyun, 53, allegedly stashed away undeclared assets worth about 96 billion won (USD 86 million) and evading taxes worth 54.6 billion won since 2004.
‘This is a case where a business tycoon illicitly pocketed funds diverted from listed companies and evaded tax’, Prosecutor Park Jeong-Shik told journalists. Lee created some 10 shell companies in foreign countries includingSingapore and Hong Kong to avoid tax, he said.

Three other former and current executives of the group were also charged as accomplices.
CJ group said the accused accepted the result of the investigation and had apologised. Lee is a nephew of Lee Kun-Hee, chairman of the Samsung Group.
CJ, which started out as a food company, has been expanding aggressively to other businesses.
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