A local businessman convicted of accounting fraud and lobbying claimed on Thursday he had given several billion won in bribes to a former close aide to President Lee Myung-bak. Lee Kuk-chul, chairman of SLS Group, said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency that he had provided 10 million won (US$8,500) to 20 million won every month from 2008 to 2010 in bribes to Shin Jae-min when Shin was a vice culture minister in the Lee Myung-bak administration. Shin also received money ranging from 3 million won to 10 million won every month between 2002 and 2006 when he was a reporter for a local newspaper and up to 100 million won during 2007 when he was in the president\'s election camp and worked as a secretary to the president-elect, the 49-year-old businessman claimed. Shin voluntarily stepped down as a culture minister nominee in August last year after confirmation hearings raised deep suspicions about financial activities that increased his personal assets, real estate speculation and conduct unfit for a public official. Lee was convicted by a local court in November last year of accounting fraud and lobbying. SLS is a mid-grade business group with 10 subsidiaries, including heavy industry and shipbuilding firms. Shin denied the bribery allegations and the former official said he was carefully considering a legal response.