Lotte Founder Accuses Son of ‘Obstructing Business’ in Family Feud

Michael Song, Dec. 2, 2015, 9:49 a.m.

The Lotte Group founder on Tuesday asked the prosecution to investigate his son for allegedly obstructing business as the family is locked in a bitter succession feud between siblings. Shin Kyuk-ho filed the charges against his second son Dong-bin, chairman of the group, and two other chief executives of the group's units with the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office for business obstruction and concealing properties.

Lotte, South Korea's fifth-largest conglomerate, has been mired in a leadership dispute between the group founder's two sons -- Dong-joo and Dong-bin -- since last summer. The two sons had each controlled the company's operations in Japan and Korea until earlier this year. While the eldest son Dong-joo was ousted from 26 key positions at Japanese units between last December and January this year, Dong-bin took the helm of Tokyo-based Lotte Holdings, the group's holding firm, after winning support from Japanese shareholders in August.

The three -- chief of Lotte Holdings Co. Takayuki Tsukuda; head of Lotte Capital Co. Masamoto Kobayashi; and Dong-bin -- are suspected of providing incorrect and exaggerated information on the eldest son to Shin Kyuk-ho over the course of his dismissal, Shin's representatives said in a press release.

Shin Kyuk-ho's lawyers also claimed that the defendants illegally took his seal to prevent Shin from using it. Last month, the eldest son filed a lawsuit against Tsukuda with the Tokyo District Court in a sideline attack against his younger brother, as he has teamed up with Dong-bin.


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