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Regulator to inspect accounts held by Samsung chairman under borrowed names

Staff Writer | February 13, 2018
Financial authorities will inspect brokerage accounts under borrowed names used by Samsung Group's ailing chairman, Lee Kun-hee.
Lee Kun-hee
Asia   Police named Lee as a suspect in a tax evasion case
The remarks by Financial Services Commission (FSC) Chairman Choi Jong-ku came one day after the Ministry of Government Legislation clarified that the government can levy a fine against Lee for managing funds in so-called borrowed-name accounts.

Lee, who has been hospitalized since suffering a heart attack in 2014, has been criticized for withdrawing money from such accounts without paying taxes or a fine, although he allegedly violated a law that bans financial transactions with borrowed-name accounts.

The money is believed to have been inherited from his father, and Samsung Group founder, Lee Byung-chull.

A 1993 law requires South Koreans to open bank or other financial accounts using their real names.

Officials said 27 brokerage accounts used by Lee will be inspected by financial authorities, but questions were raised because there were no transaction records on the accounts on Aug. 12, 1993, a day before the law came into force.

Last week, police named Lee as a suspect in a tax evasion case, accusing him of managing 400 billion won ($369 million) in 260 accounts held by executives at Samsung.

Lee could not be questioned and the case was referred to prosecutors, police said.