Choi Eun-young, the former chairwoman of South Korea’s container shipper Hanjin Shipping, has been indicted on charges of insider trading, prosecutors have reportedly revealed.
The former chairwoman of bankrupt shipper was under investigation for alleged insider trading after she sold all her shares in the company days before it filed for bankruptcy protection.
Hanjin Shipping, the world’s seventh-largest container line, is saddled debts of more than $5bn and the data in 2016 showed the firm has been unprofitable for the last four years.
Choi, who left the company in 2014, disposed off her stock in Hanjin Shipping before the firm filed for a debt restructuring programme in April 2016.
Choi and her two daughters sold 967,927 shares valued at 3 billion won ($2.7 million) between April 8 and April 20 last year, the Wall Street Journal reported citing regulatory filings.
The decision of the family to sell shares saved them from the losses faced by other Hanjin investors as the company stocks lost more than half of its value by the time it filed for bankruptcy protection. The bankruptcy of Korean shipper was the largest ever to hit the industry as the global economic crisis badly affected the cargo shipping industry.
Reports earlier suggested the former chairwoman of troubled Korean carrier is believed to have received confidential information about the restructuring via senior officials in March last year.
However, the charges did not mention Choi’s daughters, Cho Yoo Kyung and Cho Yoo Hong, Maritime Executive reported.
In June 2016, Choi said the authorities that she had sold her stock to settle her own debts, and she didn’t have any prior knowledge of the bankruptcy. However, Choi, who became the chairwoman after her husband’s death, reportedly admitted that she was not well-qualified to head up Hanjin Shipping.