A 30-year prison sentence has been handed down to Kim Bong-hyun, the former head of local industrial robot manufacturer Star Mobility and the central figure in a massive hedge fund fraud scandal.
The Seoul High Court on Tuesday ordered the same prison term as a lower court for Kim on charges of embezzlement under the Additional Punishment Law on Specific Economic Crimes, as well as the forfeiture of 76-point-nine billion won, or around 58-point-two million U.S. dollars.
The appeals court maintained the lower court’s conviction of Kim on all key charges, with the estimated damage from embezzlement and fraud standing at around 125-point-eight billion won.
Kim was found guilty of embezzling 40 billion won in Lime Asset funds that were invested in Star Mobility and an additional 59-point-eight billion won from multiple companies to pay off personal debt.
The now-defunct Lime Asset Management, in which Kim was a main source of financing, was accused of selling and maintaining fraudulent financial products that eventually resulted in the suspension of fund redemption amounting to an estimated one-point-seven trillion won.
After being released on bail during the trial, Kim cut off his electronic tracking device and went on the lam, only to be apprehended the following month.
In July this year, he reportedly planned an escape from prison, which is being investigated separately by the prosecution.