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Court Asks Audit Firm to Probe Former Hanjin Shipping CEO

Posted on October 31, 2016

By Xiaolin Zeng, IHS

The Seoul Central District Court has begun investigations to determine whether Hanjin Shipping’s former chair Choi Eun-young committed any criminal offences while she was at the helm of the liner operator.

On 23 October the court said it had suggested to Samil PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has been appointed to audit Hanjin Shipping’s assets and liabilities, to check for any illegal acts during her leadership when she headed the company from 2006-2014.

Choi is the widow of Hanjin Shipping’s former chairman, Cho Soo-ho, the younger brother of Hanjin Group and Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho. The Cho brothers are sons of Hanjin chaebol founder Cho Choong-hoon.

Choi inherited control of Hanjin Shipping after her husband’s death in 2006 but ceded management of the company to Cho Yang-ho in early 2014 as the liner operator began struggling and sought help from Korean Air.

However, the Seoul Central District Court tried to downplay the impact of its announcement, saying that it was standard procedure to investigate the former management team of a company that is under receivership.

“As this is a matter of much public interest and concern, we have discussed an investigation,” said a representative of the court.

Depending on the results of Samil PricewaterhouseCoopers’ findings, Choi could face civil suits or criminal charges. Moreover, if Choi, for example, had committed any acts that were contrary to the interests of Hanjin Shipping’s creditors, such acts would be invalidated.

Source: IHS

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