Ha Ji-won Cleared of Share Price Manipulation
The actress Ha Ji-won has been cleared of manipulating the share price of the Kosdaq-listed firm Spectrum DVD.
Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office said Friday it cleared Ha of the charges because she did not dishonestly declare the purpose as participation in the management of the company. Investors must declare the purpose of purchases of a stake over 5 percent in a company. Ha initially purchased shares to take a hand in management but later changed the purpose to "pure investment" and sold some of them after a dispute with Taewon Entertainment president Chung Tae-won, who had invested in the company along with her. Prosecutors said Ha used her own money to buy the shares.
The actress purchased 11.7 percent or 660,000 shares in the entertainment firm in May last year to become the major shareholder along with Chung. Both declared the purpose as management participation. But Ha sold 200,000 shares three months later for a profit of some W1.5 billion (US$1.5 million).
The Financial Supervisory Service asked prosecutors to investigate Ha together with a major shareholder in her agency identified as Pyun and two others using Ha’s reputation to make illegal profits.