Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hyundai's ex-chairman now feeds and bathes babies

Once he was one of the most powerful people in South Korea controlling the fortunes of hundreds and thousands of people. Now, he is just a baby sitter. Yes, I am talking about none other than Chung Mong-Koo, the ex-chairman of Hyundai Motor Company (SEO: 005387). As part of his punishment, Chung Mong-Koo is now doing 300-hour community service at a welfare center.

71 year old, Chung Mong-Koo, was sent to prison in February 2007. He received three years sentence for breach of trust and embezzling 90 billion won worth of company funds through fraudulent accounts. Earlier, he received three year prison term but the appeal court nulled the verdict on the ground that it would degrade the image of South Korean economy. Instead, the appeal court ordered a three-year suspended sentence. reports:

Earlier this month, a second appeal court ruling upheld his suspended prison sentence but ordered him to undertake 300 hours of public service involving manual work for charities or protection of the environment - the earlier sentence had been seen as too lenient on white-collar crime.

Chung had also been ordered to give lectures and write articles in the local media on business ethics - and to make good on his pledge to donate 840 billion won to charity.

Born on March 19, 1938, Chung Mong-Koo is a graduate from Hanyang University in 1967. In 1999, he took over as the head of Hyundai succeeding his father Chung Ju-Yung. In 2000, he defied his father and took over as the chairman of Hyundai Group. Famous American business magazine, Business Week, named him as one of the top managers in 2004. In 2006, the Seoul Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office accused Chung Mong-Koo and his family of embezzling money. Chung Mong-koo was arrested in April 2006.

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