Yoo Byung-eon, the de facto owner of ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine, was put on the nation's most-wanted list Thursday after he repeatedly ignored summons by prosecutors.
Prosecutors asked the Incheon district court to issue an arrest warrant for Yoo so they can label him a fugitive and put a W50 million (US$1=W1,025) price on his head.
His son Yoo Dae-gyun is also considered a fugitive with a W30 million reward for information leading to his capture.
Besides culpability in the ferry disaster last month, Yoo senior is suspected of embezzling W128.9 billion from his companies. They include W44.6 billion he transferred overseas illegally, as part of a scheme to sell his allegedly acclaimed nature photographs to the companies for tens of millions of won. He also owes an estimated W10.1 billion in taxes for the dubious photo sale.
Police are distributing wanted posters for the pair advertising a total reward of W800 million for their capture.