The chairman of South Korean retail giant Lotte Group, Shin Dong-bin, and four other members of the company’s founding family were indicted on charges of embezzlement and tax evasion, South Korean state media Yonhap reported Wednesday.
Some 170 billion won, or $154 million, was said to have been embezzled from the group, South Korea’s fifth largest conglomerate. Charges allege Shin orchestrated a series of underhanded deals involving its affiliates as well as the handout of large stipends to his family.
The charges were revealed after a four-month investigation, the Seoul Central Prosecutors’ Office said, according to Yonhap.
Shin Dong-bin’s father, Lotte founder Shin Kyuk-ho, was accused of evading gift taxes worth hundreds of billions of won. Kyuk-ho’s eldest son, daughter and his third wife have also been indicted under allegations they were receiving large irregular stipends.
All are due to stand trial but the family members were not detained, according to Yonhap.
“We will try to fix various problems revealed during the investigation and will faithfully cooperate with the legal proceedings,” Lotte Group said in a statement.
While Lotte Group started its business originally in confectionary, it now operates across a wide range of industries from supermarkets, electronics, hotels and entertainment. Its retail business includes leading department stores and duty-free shops around Asia.