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Park Soo Hong testifies in court, details alleged 61 billion won theft by brother

Broadcaster Park Soo-hong has voiced his frustration, claiming that his older brother and sister-in-law embezzled a total of 61 billion won, (approximately 46.92 million USD) including personal funds.

At 3 PM on the 10th, the Seoul High Court’s Criminal Division 7 (Chief Judge Lee Jae-gwon) held the second appeal hearing for Park’s brother, Mr. Park, and his wife, Ms. Lee, who were charged with violating the Act on the Aggravated Punishment of Specific Economic Crimes (embezzlement).

The defendants, their legal representatives, and Park Soo-hong attended the trial as witnesses.

Park explained his decision to testify, stating that he wanted to correct the false claims made by the defendants’ witnesses, which had led to previous judgments. He expressed his dismay over the original ruling that allowed the misuse of corporate assets under the guise of a family business.

Park emphasized that he single-handedly generated the revenue for his one-man agency, initially proposing a business partnership with his brother out of love and concern. He believed the profit-sharing was initially 80-20, then changed to 70-30, but later discovered that the company’s shares were registered under the names of the defendants and their children. Although he was given half of the shares in a company named “Rael,” the remaining half belonged to the defendants and their children.

Furthermore, Park claimed that his brother used his money to acquire real estate, arguing that it was impossible for his brother and sister-in-law, who only had 54 million won, to make such purchases without embezzlement. He lamented that while his sister-in-law denied involvement, she shared in the benefits.

Park also reflected on his naivety, revealing the extent of his betrayal. He explained that while he had been frugal and trusted his brother’s financial advice, his brother’s reassurances had masked the embezzlement. Park presented evidence from a tax consultant that highlighted the illegal nature of the transactions, stressing that the defendants could not have acquired the real estate without embezzling his money.

Park Soo-hong’s brother and sister-in-law have been accused of siphoning off 6.17 billion won over ten years, from 2011 to 2021, while running an entertainment agency. In the first trial, Mr. Park was sentenced to two years in prison for embezzling approximately 2.1 billion won, while Ms. Lee was acquitted due to insufficient evidence of her involvement. Both the defendants and the prosecution have appealed the verdict, with the prosecution arguing that the sentence was too lenient.