Gov't Shuts Down Choi Soon-sil's Dubious Foundations

  • By Yoo Seog-jae

    March 21, 2017 10:32

    The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said Monday that it has finally canceled the business licenses of two foundations at the center of a corruption scandal that brought down ex-President Park Geun-hye.

    "We've reached the conclusion that there is a need to revoke their licenses because their illegal founding and management hurt the public good, and law and order must be maintained," a ministry official said.

    The Mir Foundation was set up in October 2015 with the ostensible aim of promoting Korean culture, and the K-Sports Foundation in January of 2016 to promote sport, but both were effectively vehicles for the enrichment of Park's crony Choi Soon-sil, who staffed them with her drinking buddies while the president allegedly drummed up funds.

    The two foundations netted W77.4 billion from 53 businesses (US$1=W1,120). Their assets will be transferred to other nonprofits with similar objectives, but if a court rules that the donations were bribes, the money will be confiscated.

    The ministry said if companies were coerced to make the donations, they can sue to get their money back.

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