Police officer Wu Hyung-ho said the body was found in a field in the southern South Korean city of Suncheon and the results of DNA and fingerprint tests showed they matched those of Yoo Byung-eun.
The officer said the body was already decayed too much beyond recognition when it was found and more thorough investigation is needed to find how and when he died.
The man's body was wearing a pair of expensive shoes and a costly Italian-made jacket.
Also found near him were three empty Korean local liquor bottles, a bag and a magnifying glass.
Authorities believe Mr Yoo was the owner of the ferry and that his alleged corruption may have contributed to its sinking.