×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Korea’s Lotte Group Boss Charged With Bribery

South Korean prosecutors have arrested and charged Shin Dong-bin, chairman of Lotte. The conglomerate is one of the ten biggest companies in the country, and is its second largest entertainment player.

The charges of bribery relate to $6.16 million of alleged payments made to Choi Soon-sil, the mysterious friend of deposed Korean president Park Geun-hye. Choi is alleged to have used her close connections to Park for financial gain. Prosecutors say that large companies used Choi to get official approval for favors, including the approval of certain deals. Park was also charged with receiving bribery payments. All have denied the charges.

The arrest of Shin is expected to create a temporary vacuum within the group’s senior management. But as he has not been kept in detention that vacuum may not be extreme.

Lotte operates restaurant chains, hotels and department stores. Its cinema chain is the second largest in Korea, and it has further cinemas in China, Vietnam and Hong Kong. Within Korea, its film distribution arm is the local sub-distributor for Paramount.

Lotte is also currently facing enormous pressure over its operations in China, following the company’s agreement to provide land on which the Korean government plans to site the THAAD missile defense system. China objects to THAAD and since the deployment decision, last July, has sought to cut ties with the Korean entertainment industry. Lotte’s decision has stirred up sections of the Chinese public, who have boycotted its supermarkets in China and have cut their spending at Lotte’s duty free operations. Lotte has also had to halt construction of a theme park that it was building in China.

The arrest of Shin follows that of Lee Jae-yong, the acting head of electronics giant Samsung who was arrested on Park- and Choi-related bribery charges last month. Lee denies the charges.

Park and the country’s former culture minister are also alleged to have created a blacklist of Korean culture industry figures who were to be denied public funding as punishment for not supporting Park’s government.

More Biz

  • Viacom HQ LA

    Viacom Goes to War With AT&T Over DirecTV Carriage Deal

    Viacom has declared war against AT&T, blasting the telco giant on several fronts as the companies wrestle over a carriage renewal deal that is vital to Viacom’s long-term financial health. As of today, Viacom has begun running crawls and promo spots on its channels warning viewers that Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, MTV and other channels [...]

  • Peloton Sued for $150 Million for

    Peloton Sued for $150 Million for Using Drake, Lady Gaga Music Without License

    A group of publishers including Downtown Music Publishing, Pulse Music Publishing, ole, peermusic, Ultra Music, Big Deal Music, Reservoir, Round Hill, TRO Essex Music Group and The Royalty Network filed a lawsuit against Peloton for infringement of more than a thousand musical works, according to a statement from the National Music Publishers Association. The plaintiffs are [...]

  • Bruce Ramer Re-Appointed to Corporation for

    Bruce Ramer Re-Appointed to Corporation for Public Broadcasting Board

    Top showbiz attorney Bruce Ramer has been reappointed to the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the nonprofit org that administers federal funding for public broadcasting. Ramer, a partner at Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman, was elected chair of the CPB board in October. He previously served as board chair from 2010-2012. His [...]

  • Gary Knell

    Listen: National Geographic Chief Gary Knell on Disney Future, Fox's Legacy

    The marriage of National Geographic Partners and Disney, which becomes official today, is the proverbial brand match made in heaven. Disney is taking over the stewardship of Nat Geo Partners — a joint venture with the National Geographic Society — as part of its acquisition of 21st Century Fox. The transition comes at a time [...]

  • Celebrity Admissions Scandal

    Admissions Scandal Reveals the Deep-Seated Ties Between Celebrities and Top Colleges

    Hollywood is fixated on the federal investigation into a massive college admissions scam. It’s a scheme that has all the ingredients of a ripping yarn, a portrait of the corrosive influence of celebrity and wealth in higher education. It’s also a story that has deep links to the entertainment industry. Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, [...]

  • Songtrust’s Joe Conyers III Slams Streaming

    Songtrust’s New Chief Strategy Officer, Joe Conyers III, Slams Streaming Services’ CRB Appeal

    Songtrust, the digital rights-management platform cofounded by Downtown Music Publishing’s Justin Kalifowitz, today announced that Joe Conyers III has been elevated to Chief Strategy Officer. According to the announcement, as co-founder and GM of Songtrust for the past eight years, Conyers has led the company from prototype to servicing over 20,000 publishers to collect their [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content