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Prosecutors to summon Lotte chairman Shin Dong-bin after Chuseok

[THE INVESTOR] Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin is likely to be summoned by the prosecutors after the Chuseok holiday that ends Sept. 18. He will be questioned for his role in a series of corruption charges that the retail giant faces, according to industry sources on Sept. 13.

The prosecutors are aiming to end the three-month long probe into Lotte Group by questioning the group chairman.

“We will summon Shin Dong-bin after the holiday,” a prosecutor said. “After summoning him, we plan to wrap up the investigation.”

Shin is believed to be at the center of Lotte Group’s irregularities, including embezzlement and slush funds creation, among others.

The prosecution has already summoned a number of company officials and the other founding family members to track the flow of funds and secure evidence to zero in on the chairman.

The Seoul Central Prosecutor’s Office questioned Lotte Group founder Shin Kyuk-ho twice at his residence in a Seoul hotel on Sept. 8 and 9.

The 93-year-old Lotte patriarch is suspected of evading roughly 600 billion won (US$538.86 million) in taxes in the process of transferring assets to his common-law wife Seo Mi-kyung and their daughter Shin Yoo-mi.

During the probe, Shin denied the allegations, saying he doesn’t remember.

Shin Dong-joo, the founder’s eldest son, was questioned twice by the authorities earlier this month. During the probe, the former head of Lotte Japan has reportedly admitted to some charges against him, including embezzling some 40 billion won (US$36 million) by registering as a board member of eight Lotte affiliates.

The authorities said they will decide whether to indict the father and son based on their findings after the Chuseok holiday.

By Ahn Sung-mi (