A blue-collar worker who made headlines last month by donating 100 million won he saved up from more than two decades of working revealed Tuesday that the money was not his, but money his son had acquired illegitimately.
The donation was also made to get an appeals court to commute a sentence on his son.
A local newspaper in Ulsan published an apology by Park Woo-hyun and Park Ki-yeon, on March 19.
|The apology by Park Woo-hyun and Park Ki-yeon published in a local newspaper in Ulsan on March 19 (Yonhap News)|
Park Woo-hyun, an 57-year-old worker at Hyundai Heavy Industries, received attention when he gave two charity groups a total of 100 million won that the Ulsan-based company said he had saved up over 25 years of working at the company.
In the apology, however, he disclosed that the money was not his but his son Ki-yeon’s. But he noted that it was true he donated 50 million won to each of the Ulsan offices of the Korean Red Cross and the Community Chest of Korea.
“Park Ki-yeon made inappropriate money in connection with his occupation. After agonizing over how to handle the money, he decided to return it to society, so he made me, Park Woo-hyun, donate it as his representative,” he said.
He concluded the apology, saying: “I apologize over the article which is different from the facts, which caused confusion to those who knew the truth about the donation, though I had no intention of doing so.”
At the bottom of the apology was written, ‘Sincerely yours, Park Woo-hyun and Park Ki-yeon.’
Hyundai Heavy Industries publicized Park Woo-hyun’s good deed in a news release on Feb. 4.
Major newspapers and TV networks also reported his donation. But his abrupt apology led to the company’s own investigation.
After interviewing Park, who came to the office Tuesday, company officials learned that Park had made the donation to extenuate a sentence to his son who was in an appeals trial. The donation was made on the advice of his son’s attorney, they said.
Ki-yeon was sentenced to two years and six months in prison last month for forgery of private documents while working at a plant in Ulsan.
By Chun Sung-woo (email@example.com