Most consumers and car enthusiasts in the U.S. have had no idea that the turmoil atop Hyundai's executive ladder had gotten this bad. Today, the chairman of Hyundai Motor, Chung Mong-koo, 68, was convicted and sentenced to three years in a South Korean prison for embezzling $67 million USD and spending it on himself and bribes for politicians and lobbyists. He was also charged with financially damaging other companies through deals that benefiited the financial standing of him and his son, Eui-son, the head of Kia Motors.
Chung was arrested last April, spent a couple months in jail, and returned to work at Hyundai in July. In his absence, Hyundai workers went on strike in South Korea and Kia's new manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia didn't get built. He is expected to appeal the three-year sentencing and may get off with a suspended sentence and no jail time, as just-auto reports the appeal courts in South Korea often hand out more lenient sentences to business tycoons. Chung will remain free while appealing his sentence, which could take up to a year, so no disruptions are expected at Hyundai on account of the ruling at least in the near future.