The last few years have been very good to Hyundai, with increased sales and a spike in brand perception in North America, but in South Korea the situation has been a bit different. Hyundai chairman Chung Mong Koo has been knee deep in controversy surrounding his 2008 conviction for embezzlement and breach of duty. The controversy surrounding the conviction got even more intense after Chung's three-year sentence was waived and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak pardoned the chairman citing the importance of Hyundai to the local economy.

While Chung was able to forgo prison time and job loss for his actions, he's reportedly getting a pretty considerable financial slap on the wrist for his wrongdoing. BusinessWeek reports that the Seoul Central District Court has ordered Chung to pay Hyundai 70 billion won ($60 million in U.S. funds) for his past transgressions. Former vice chairman Kim Dong Jin was also hit with a big-time fine of 55 billion won ($47 million U.S.) for his role in the embezzlement case.

While a total of over $100 million is a monumental fine, the Solidarity for Economic Reform group that led shareholders in the lawsuit against the executives wanted a lot more. The SER was looking for damages in the neighborhood of 563.1 billion won ($485 million U.S.) in damages and the group will reportedly appeal to a higher court for more money.

[Source: BusinessWeek | Image: Hong Jim-Hwan/AFP/Getty Images]

Share This Photo X