The Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office is seeking an arrest warrant of Samsung BioLogics CEO Kim Tae-han, as part of its investigation into the company's alleged accounting fraud.
The prosecutors also sought warrants for two Samsung Electronics vice presidents on similar charges.
The charges brought against Kim include ordering the concealment and manipulation of Samsung BioLogics and Bioepis' accounting data and internal reports ahead of the investigation by the prosecutors. The two Samsung Electronics vice presidents were under similar charges as they allegedly ordered the two Samsung Bioepis executives to destroy relevant evidence.
One of the two Samsung Bioepis executives surnamed Yang, who was arrested and indicted last week, is known to have ordered his subordinates to delete about 2,100 computer files that mention "merge" or "JY" (Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics) from the laptops and mobile phones of relevant employees. According to news reports, the prosecutors have also requested Samsung Bioepis' CEO Ko Han-sung to turn in his phone.
Samsung BioLogics is under the suspicion of handing over false documents to the financial authorities that contained the valuation of the company. The company allegedly manipulated its document with the firm's lawyers after being asked to submit a “biosimilars commercialization plan” from the Financial Supervisory Service in March last year when the FSS was investigating the accounting fraud allegation.
The document reportedly includes the business value and corporate value of Samsung Bioepis and the amount of the call option granted to Biogen in 2011.
In establishing Samsung Bioepis in 2012, Samsung BioLogics gave Biogen a call option to buy 50 percent minus one share. However, Samsung BioLogics had not made public such facts until 2015 when it changed Samsung Bioepis from a subsidiary to an affiliated company stating that the possibility of the call option of Biogen is high.
If true, the document goes against Samsung BioLogics' previous claim that the company could not announce the call option commitments from 2012 to 2014 as it had not evaluated the call option value.
With the prosecutors speeding up the probe into Samsung BioLogics for alleged accounting fraud, the probe is expanding to higher-ranking officials at Samsung Electronics. According to the results of the investigation, prosecutors might summon Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong.
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