SEOUL, March 23 (Yonhap) — One more broker was indicted Tuesday on charges of fraud in connection with the investigation into an investment fund scam case centered on Optimus Asset Management, prosecution officials said.
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office referred the 57-year-old broker, surnamed Ki, to trial after indicting him for fraud and violation of the Attorney-at-Law Act in connection with the massive fund scam.
The Optimus scandal centers on allegations that the private equity company solicited funds worth about 1.2 trillion won from around 2,900 investors for investments in public institutions but actually funneled most of the money into risky assets, causing huge losses to the investors.
Ki, who was arrested early this month after four months on the run, is accused of colluding with other brokers to swindle 20 million won (US$17,720) out of Kim Jae-hyun, CEO of Optimus Asset Management, in May last year under the pretext of lobbying former officials of the watchdog Financial Supervisory Service.
Ki is also charged with offering about 650 million won in bribes to a representative of minority shareholders of Haeduk Powerway Co., a parts manufacturer for shipbuilding that was acquired by Optimus, in an attempt to influence the shareholders’ voting rights.
In addition, the broker is suspected of defrauding the Optimus CEO of an additional 1 billion won by falsely promising to deliver the money to the minority shareholder representative.
Kim and a number of other Optimus executives and officials from local financial institutions have been arrested on charges of fraud in the prosecution’s widening probe into the scandal.