Is there no law on punishment for corruption in employment? Is Shinhan Financial Chairman Cho Yong-byeong’s ‘second trial acquittal’ reasonable?


Cho Yong-byeong, chairman of Shinhan Financial Group, who is accused of hiring corruption, comes out after finishing the sentencing hearing at the Seoul High Court in Seocho-gu, Seoul on the afternoon of the 22nd. yunhap news

Shinhan Bank accused of manipulating the scores of 131 new employee applicants Shinhan Financial Group Chairman Cho Yong-byeong acquitted on appeal The aftershock continues. In the first trial, only three people were found guilty of hiring irregularities and Cho was sentenced to a suspended sentence of imprisonment, but even that was acquitted in the appeals trial. In particular, the logic of innocence of the Court of Appeal was raised on the board. “Freedom of hiring by private companies according to the Constitution” “Not all of the solicitors were accepted” “In general, they graduated from a top-ranked university and have basic specifications” “There is no Recruitment Corruption Punishment Act”. Until the enactment of the Punishment Act, as long as the applicant meets a certain level of solicitation, it opens the way for a private company to hire him at his or her discretion. It also runs counter to the judgments of investigative agencies and courts that have been actively responding to the void in the employment corruption punishment laws by applying the crime of ‘obstruction of business’. The final decision was passed to the Supreme Court as the prosecution filed an appeal against the acquittal of Chairman Cho. Chairman Cho was accused of taking part in hiring corruption while he was president of Shinhan Bank (obstruction of business, violation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act). Indictment without detention in October 2018done. From the first half of 2015 to the second half of 2016, Chairman Cho was involved in score manipulation of 30 high-ranking children of Shinhan Bank and affiliates as well as applicants who received external solicitations from the first half of 2015 to the second half of 2016. He was handed over to trial for manipulating the scores of 101 people in the screening process. Eight people involved in recruitment irregularities, including Chairman Cho, the vice president of HR, the head of the HR department, and the head of the recruitment team, were also indicted.

The 1st trial “the bank president said, the recruitment team has no choice but to consider”

In the first trial, Chairman Cho was found guilty of hiring irregularities against Ra Un-chan, the niece-grandson of former Shinhan Financial Group Chairman Ra Un-chan, and the son of an executive at the Financial Supervisory Service. sentenced to 6 months in prison and 2 years probationreceived. According to the facts acknowledged by the court, in April 2015, Chairman Cho heard from the Deputy Director of the Financial Supervisory Service that ‘My son, Mr. Lee, applied for Shinhan Bank’s recruitment in the first half of 2015′ and asked Mr. Please provide feedback’. In June of that year, Mr. Lee received an evaluation grade equivalent to failing in the practical interview, but his 1st interview score was upgraded at the direction of Manager A. After passing the first interview, Lee passed the final interview. In hiring in the second half of 2016, Chairman Cho received a request from former Chairman Ra Eung-chan that ‘My niece and grandson applied for it’, and also instructed Mr. B, the HR manager at the time, to give feedback on Mr. Na’s success or failure by selection. In October of that year, Mr. Na was rejected as a result of the document screening, but under the direction of Manager B, a reexamination was made, and Mr. Na passed the document screening. After that, Manager B went directly to Mr. Na’s first interviewer and gave him the highest score by himself, and Mr. Na was also able to pass the final exam. At the same time, Mr. Jeong, who was mentioned by Chairman Cho and was on the list of special people, was also rejected due to credit filtering in the document screening, but Director B directly passed Mr. Jeong in the document screening. However, Jung did not pass the final exam. The 11th Criminal Division of the Seoul Eastern District Court, which was the first trial judge (then Judge Son Joo-cheol), pleaded guilty to some of the charges of obstruction of business in January last year, saying that Chairman Cho “interfered with the work of the interviewers” ​​against the three persons above. In the Shinhan Bank new employee recruitment process, the interview task delegated to the first and second interviewers is an independent task, and putting up a person who is not qualified to take the interview for an interview is an act of deceiving the evaluators (hierarchy). Therefore, it was judged that “the fairness of the first and second interviewer interviews was hindered by the hierarchy.” As an interviewer, an independent evaluation is made on the premise that all interviewers have gone through a fair process and made it to the interview. Even though Chairman Choi did not directly give an explicit instruction to ‘accept the person’, the court said, “If the hiring team notifies the hiring team of the fact that you are applying for a specific person through the Human Resources Manager, the hiring team will notify the bank manager of the application. It can be fully expected that the circumstances of the applicants will have to be taken into account at each screening stage,” he said. However, the other applicants for solicitation mentioned by Chairman Choi were acquitted on the grounds of lack of evidence. The charge of manipulating the scores of men and women to match the sex ratio was also acquitted due to lack of evidence.

“If you are from a top university… ” Definition of ‘Negatively Passed’ in the Appeals Trial

However, the Seoul High Court’s Criminal Division 6-3 (Chief Judges Jo Eun-rae, Kim Yong-ha, and Jeong-ryong), who considered the appeal, ruled that even this was not guilty. It is true that they were placed on the list of ‘specialists’ through Chairman Cho, and it is true that they were on the list of successful applicants after being rejected, but it is not possible to conclude that they are ‘disqualified applicants’ based on their specifications. The court said that the process by which Mr. Lee and Mr. Na, who passed the final pass, passed the reexamination process cannot be regarded as unreasonable. First of all, considering that Mr. Lee is an applicant who meets the recruitment goal of Shinhan Bank, which advocates ‘expanding global talent recruitment’ in various specifications, he said, “It is difficult to determine that (Mr. judged Regarding Na, who had the right to fail the document review but was relieved by the review order of the B Human Resources Department, the court said, “There is room to see that the review order is somewhat inappropriate in terms of ‘equal opportunity’.” “Rather, the preparation of the detailed analysis report can be viewed as a circumstance that Na has thoroughly reviewed before making a decision. It is difficult to see him as a successful candidate who passed the document screening through an unfair method.” When the applicant, whom the president said, was rejected, the Human Resources Department made a review report and put him on the list of successful applicants. Regarding Mr. D, who failed the document evaluation but passed through the unilateral decision of Mr. B, the Human Resources Manager, he was convicted only of the Manager, and Chairman Cho delivered the fact that Mr. Chairman Cho was acquitted of the charges related to it, saying that it cannot be considered. The court said, “Most of the applicants listed as fraudulent candidates are solicitors or applicants who have a relationship with Shinhan Bank’s executives and employees,” but said that it is difficult to punish the act of disqualifying them and turning them into acceptance. “It is an inappropriate work practice to treat a small number of applicants separately is an inappropriate business practice that can cause serious distrust in the fairness of recruitment, but unless there is a separate legislation prohibiting the creation of a list of unusual persons, this cannot be considered an illegal act or a criminal act.” will be He continued, “(Those on the list) usually come from top-ranking universities and have basic specifications, such as holding a certain level of language credits and various certifications. Like other applicants, there are cases where they have gone through a certain amount of screening process, so it cannot be considered as a negative pass.” A company’s discretion at each stage of the recruitment screening should be broadly guaranteed, and accordingly, it is not a problem to adjust the score within a certain range. According to this standard, the court said that only those who passed the examination without going through the assessment procedure should be regarded as ‘passers of fraud’. This kind of backdoor and parachute hiring is virtually impossible in large corporate recruitment, and it is a controversial judgment in that ‘upgrade’ through score correction is the main means of hiring corruption. The court also said, “It goes against the general feeling of the law,” because the offense of obstruction of business under the Criminal Act, which has been applied to hiring corruption, is to protect the company rather than the actual victim (other applicants).

Criticism of the legal community and civic groups “I do not understand the judgment”

The legal community and civil society groups reacted that they were not convinced of the ruling. In a statement after the ruling, the Solidarity for Financial Justice said, “The court decided that even if an illegal request was made through a parent’s personal network, it cannot be regarded as a ‘passer of corruption’ if it has a high academic level and certain specifications. It is a really strange logic that, even if the circumstances of soliciting for hiring or some admissions are confirmed directly or indirectly, if you have a high academic level and certain specifications, you will not become a fraudulent passer. It means giving,” he criticized. Attorney Jin-Woo Joo, who investigated and prosecuted this case during his time as the chief prosecutor of the Seoul Eastern District Prosecutors’ Office in 2018, said, “The application of the charge of obstruction of business in hiring irregularities has not been applied for a long time, but it can be applied according to the interpretation of the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence. We respect the judgment of the court, but the interpretation of the law is also changing in a direction that is consistent with the spirit of the times, and I think that the judgment was sufficiently possible as the obstruction of business was applied in a similar case.” A lawyer specializing in financial cases also said, “The hiring team cannot but pay attention to the fact that the president did not instruct a specific person to ‘pass,’ but only mentioned the fact of the application. It must be said that the interviewer’s work, which should be conducted fairly, was hindered by this,” he said. Previously, the Supreme Court was indicted on charges of obstruction of business by illegally admitting 37 applicants for the right to fail. In March last year, the trial court sentenced former Woori Bank president Lee Kwang-gu to eight months in prison.

Reporter Min-jeong Shin [email protected] ▶Related articles: [사설] Bank president acquitted of ’employment corruption’, do you still want a ‘fair society’?

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