Orion Group Vice Chairman Lee Hwa-kyung, who has been under police investigation for alleged embezzlement of villa construction expenses, will be investigated by prosecutors.
The special investigation department of the National Police Agency (NPA) announced on Oct. 24 that it had sent the Lee case to the prosecution for violating the law on the additional punishment of specific economic crimes.
Lee is suspected of spending about 20.3 billion won in corporate funds to build a private villa in Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi Province from 2008 to 2014.
During the investigation, Lee denied the charges, saying, "We built the building for the purpose of the gallery, the guesthouse, and the training center."
However, the police believe that this building is a typical private villa with an outdoor bath, a yoga room, and a wine storage. Police confirmed that the building was not used for corporate purposes, and that Lee brought in billions of won worth of furniture at private expense.
In addition, the police reported that all construction processes, including site selection, construction design and materials selection, were led by Vice Chairman Lee. In response, Orion maintains its position that it is a company training center, not a villa.
Meanwhile, Chairman Dam Chul-gon, the husband of Vice Chairman Lee, was arrested by the prosecution on charges of embezzling 30 billion won or using the money without following a set usage and procedure. In the first trial, Chairman Dam was sentenced to three years in prison for most of the charges. After being released on probation at the appellate court, his sentence was fixed by the Supreme Court.