The former chairwoman of the now-defunct Hanjin Shipping, once world's seventh-largest container shipping company, has been handed an 18-month sentence for selling off her family's stake in the firm, according to Yonhap.
Choi Eun-young, 55, received the conviction from the Seoul Central District Court for insider trading that took place days before Hanjin Shipping announced a court-led debt restructuring plan.
She was immediately taken into custody.
The court also ordered her to pay a US$ 1.09 million fine and forfeit $457,000.
Choi had already donated $910,000.
In December last year, Choi reportedly took advantage of the undisclosed information and unloaded the stakes held by her and her two daughters to avoid around $910,000 in possible losses.
In April 2016, Hanjin Shipping filed for court receivership after it was unable to handle the mounting debts that came after a global downturn in the shipping sector.
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Choi is the wife of the late Cho Su-ho, the younger brother of Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho, who also runs the country's top air carrier Korean Air Lines Co.
She took over the management control of Hanjin Shipping in 2006 after her husband's death and headed the company until April 2014.
The South Korean government declared on Friday (December 8, 2017) that it will focus on checking the financial performance of debt-laden companies in its effort to overhaul troubled firms and head off bankruptcies and bailouts.
According to Reuters, news of the tightened scrutiny knocked lower the share prices of South Korean shipbuilders, a sector that has wrestled with massive debt and a slowdown in global trade in past years.
After meeting with other ministers in Seoul, South Korean Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon, said: “Plans to enhance industry competitiveness will be prepared based on a regular check-up on key sectors.”