The prosecution has launched an investigation into the alleged evasion of inheritance tax by Lee Woong-yeol, chairman of Kolon Group.
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said on Dec. 4 that it has recently launched an investigation into a case in which the National Tax Service (NTS) detected and accused Chairman Woong-yeol's inheritance tax evasion during the Kolon Group's tax investigation.
In April 2016, the Seoul National Tax Service conducted a tax probe into Kolon, the holding company of Kolon Group, and Kolon Industries, a key affiliate of the group. The two companies, which were originally one company, were divided into a holding company, Kolon, and Kolon Industries, which deals with chemical and industrial materials, in 2009.
At that time, the National Tax Service secured tax and accounting data from Chairman Lee's home and office by extending the period of tax investigations by three months from the scheduled period.
After the death of the late Kolon honorary Chairman Lee Dong-chan in November 2014, it was speculated that some of the suspicions related to the inheritance tax evasion were revealed when his stake was inherited to his children, including Chairman Lee Woong-yeol.
Meanwhile, Chairman Lee said on Nov. 28, “I will leave the company from next year. I will not intervene in the group’s management in the future.”