CJ Group Chairman Lee Jay-hyun Detained on Tax Evasion, Embezzlement Charges

South Korea's 10th richest man is also suspected of breach of trust.

SEOUL — Lee Jay-hyun, chairman of CJ Group, the South Korean conglomerate known for its food and entertainment businesses, was detained Monday night on charges of tax evasion, breach of trust and embezzlement.

Kim Woo-soo, senior judge of the Seoul Central District Court, issued the warrant for the arrest of the country's 10th richest man. "Given the seriousness of the charges against him, his detention is necessary," Kim said in a statement.

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The 53-year-old tycoon was questioned by prosecutors last week on suspicion of dodging some 70 billion won ($61.4 million) in income tax by hiding money in accounts made under "borrowed names."

He was also suspected of embezzling large amounts of corporate funds from the group’s affiliates, including its flagship food company CJ CheilJedang, by inflating the prices of raw materials.

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"The prosecution has evidence on Lee's allegations. And we cannot rule out the possibility that he will destroy evidence and flee," said Kim.

CJ Group is the parent company of CJ E&M, one of Korea’s largest entertainment companies, which handles films, TV and pop music.

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