,South Korea
Photo courtesy of 밥풀떼기.

South Korea’s Kyobo Life requests punishment for Deloitte Anjin accountants: report

They are accused of colluding to inflate the price of six million shares.

South Korea’s Kyobo Life Insurance has requested to reinvestigate and punish accountants from Deloitte Anjin accused of conspiring to inflate prices of a put option that one of the insurer’s strategic investors exercised in 2018, reports Yonhap, based on an announcement by the insurer.

The insurer earlier lodged a complaint with the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICC) after Affinity Equity Partners exercised a put option on six million shares in Kyobo Life for $345 (KRW409,00 per share) in 2018. 

This comes after Kyobo Life failed to deliver on its promise to conduct an IPO by September 2015. Kyobo Life refused to buy the shares, saying that the price was too high. 

In September 2021, the ICC rejected Affinity Equity Partners' request.

In February this year, prosecutors indicted three officials of the Deloitte Anjin accounting firm—which was in charge of determining the fair market value of the put option—and two officials of Affinity Equity on charges of colluding to inflate the prices. 

The same month, Kyobo Life filed a complaint with the Korean Institute of Certified Public Accountants over the issue, but the institute decided not to take any disciplinary action against the accountants.

"The process of handling the complaint by the public accountants' institute has deficiencies and investigation has been insufficient," Kyobo Life reportedly said in a statement, according to Yonhap.

"The illegal acts by the accountants of Deloitte Anjin should be thoroughly investigated and if they were found to have violated anything, they should face strict punishment," it added.

Deloitte Anjin and Affinity Equity officials all denied the allegation.

A sixth trial is set for 12 December.

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