Court Establishes First Lady's Involvement in a Stock Pump-and-Dump Scheme

First Lady Kim Geon-hee still has not faced any investigation in her involvement in the Deutsche Motors scheme while other conspirators were found guilty.

Court Establishes First Lady's Involvement in a Stock Pump-and-Dump Scheme

Photo: First Lady Kim Geon-hee.  Credit: Office of the President.

On February 11, in the trial for the Deutsche Motors도이치모터스 stock pump-and-dump scheme, the Seoul Central District Court 서울중앙지방법원 found most of the defendants guilty of price manipulation, and made clear that First Lady Kim Geon-hee 김건희 영부인’s money bankrolled the scheme, as it referred to Kim 37 times in its opinion.

The First Lady, however, has not yet faced any investigation despite multiple instances of the judiciary confirming her involvement. (See previous coverage, “First Lady Clearly Involved in Stock Manipulation Scheme.”) In its ruling, the court handed suspended sentences to most defendants including the company’s former CEO Kwon O-su 권오수전회장, because “the scheme to manipulate the share price appears to have failed.”  

In response, the Democratic Party 민주당 announceda plan to pursue simultaneous special prosecutor investigations of the Daejang-dong scandal and the Deutsche Motors pump-and-dump scheme. The Democrats submitted a bill for a special prosecutor investigation of the First Lady’s involvement in the stock manipulation scheme in September 2022; the bill has been held up in the National Assembly’s Legislative and Judiciary Committee (LJC)법제사법위원회, chaired by People Power Party legislator Kim Do-eup 김도읍국민의힘국회의원.

To bypass the LJC, the Democratic Party will have to "fast-track" the bill, which will require a supermajority of 180 votes out of 300. With only 169 seats, the Democrats will need help from minor parties such as the Justice Party 정의당.

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