Samsung vice chairman a suspect in South Korean bribery probe

Posted:
in General Discussion
A South Korean prosecutor's office is set to interrogate the head of the Samsung Group, Jay Y. Lee, as part of a wider influence scandal involving the country's President Park Geun-hye and her close friend, Choi Soon-sil.


Via Branding in Asia.


Lee has been summoned for questioning at 9:30 a.m. Thursday local time to address suspicions such as bribery, Reuters said on Wednesday. Specifically, prosecutors are looking into whether $25 million in Samsung payments to a business and foundations backed by Choi were connected with a 2015 decision by Korea's national pension fund supporting a merger of two Samsung units, Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries.
The investigation of Samsung's vice chairman centers on the merger of Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries.
A spokesman for the prosecutor's office refused to say whether any Samsung executives might be indicted, but didn't dismiss the possibility of issuing an arrest warrant for Lee. Two other senior Samsung Group officials have been summoned for questioning this week, but only as witnesses.

The head of the National Pension Service, Moon Hyung-pyo, was arrested last month after admitting he pushed the fund to approve the C&T/Cheil merger while he was health minister.

Lee, for his part, denied bribery allegations during a December parliamentary hearing, and prosecutors are looking into whether he gave false testimony.

The executive will likely face a skeptical reception, since Samsung is also said to have sponsored the equestrian career of Choi's daughter, Chung Yoo-ra. Chung was arrested in Denmark earlier this month, having been sought by South Korean law enforcement.

Samsung Group is the parent company of Apple's main competition in the smartphone space, Samsung Electronics, of which Lee is the vice chairman -- his greater control is the result of his father being sidelined by a heart attack in 2014. Even if Lee is brought up on charges however, the Electronics division is expected to continue on unaffected, except perhaps for any long-term strategic decisions Lee might have made.

The Group is no stranger to scandal, since in 2008 Lee Kun-hee resigned as chairman after other executives were indicted for allegedly brokering a deal to give his children greater ownership in Samsung's holding company. He was even given a three-year suspended sentence for tax evasion, but was later pardoned.

Despite competing with the company, Apple has also been dependent on Samsung for key components. For years Samsung was the sole manufacturer of Apple's A-series chips, and Samsung Display is expected to be a major -- perhaps exclusive -- supplier of OLED panels for the "iPhone 8."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    ceek74ceek74 Posts: 300member
    Shocking. Just, totally, shocking. <insert The Price Is Right loser horns>
    magman1979pulseimageswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,704member
    So what? We’ll never see even a mention of this in the mainstream media.
    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 14
    sog35sog35 Posts: 12,375member
    nothing will come of this.

    lets face it.  30% of the Korean economy is Samsung. Unless Samsung wants this guy in jail, he ain't going to jail.

    even if he's found guility, the Korean president will simply pardon him
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 14
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,931member
    lkrupp said:
    So what? We’ll never see even a mention of this in the mainstream media.
    Where do you think AI got the story? Of course the story is in mainsteam media with articles today in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times and internationally reported by both Reuters and Bloomberg. It was reported in Korea's press a few days ago. 
    edited January 11 singularitytzm41revenant
  • Reply 5 of 14
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 1,622moderator
    He isn't likely to be involved in any long term strategy decisions for Samsung.  Those decisions are made in Cupertino. 
    edited January 11 lkruppRayz2016oneof52StrangeDayscalitzm41magman1979roundaboutnowbestkeptsecretwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,931member
    sog35 said:
    nothing will come of this.

    lets face it.  30% of the Korean economy is Samsung. Unless Samsung wants this guy in jail, he ain't going to jail.

    even if he's found guility, the Korean president will simply pardon him
    Of course something will come of it if he's guilty. You've apparently not been following recent stories about Korean government and the current recently-impeached President selling influence in her administration. It's a big deal. Read the story.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-politics-samsung-group-idUSKBN14V0G6
    edited January 11 revenant
  • Reply 7 of 14
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,692member
    gatorguy said:
    sog35 said:
    nothing will come of this.

    lets face it.  30% of the Korean economy is Samsung. Unless Samsung wants this guy in jail, he ain't going to jail.

    even if he's found guility, the Korean president will simply pardon him
    Of course something will come of it if he's guilty. You've apparently not been following recent stories about Korean government and the current recently-impeached President selling influence in her administration. It's a big deal. Read the story.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-politics-samsung-group-idUSKBN14V0G6
    The record for keeping Samsung directors in prison isn't a good one. 
    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 14
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,341member
    In fairness, bribery is the convergence of corruption. It went quite smoothly. 
  • Reply 9 of 14
    calicali Posts: 2,968member
    gatorguy said:
    lkrupp said:
    So what? We’ll never see even a mention of this in the mainstream media.
    Where do you think AI got the story? Of course the story is in mainsteam media with articles today in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times and internationally reported by both Reuters and Bloomberg. It was reported in Korea's press a few days ago. 
    If someone loses an Airpod that story will absolutely trump this!!
    revenantwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 10 of 14
    gatorguy said:
    sog35 said:
    nothing will come of this.

    lets face it.  30% of the Korean economy is Samsung. Unless Samsung wants this guy in jail, he ain't going to jail.

    even if he's found guility, the Korean president will simply pardon him
    Of course something will come of it if he's guilty. You've apparently not been following recent stories about Korean government and the current recently-impeached President selling influence in her administration. It's a big deal. Read the story.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-politics-samsung-group-idUSKBN14V0G6
    Hi @gatorguy ; - As @Rayz2016 stated, South Korea is quick to pardon the guilty chaobol (family owned conglomerates) in Korea. The fact that Park is now also being persecuted probably won't change things much. Unfortunately, it is known that these companies routinely bribe politicians and judges. 

    Here is an example of a chaebol leader getting off in the interest of "revitalizing the economy", but there are many other cases:

    http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/park-grants-pardon-to-chaebol-chief

    And don't forget about Lee Kun-hee of Samsung (the father of the aforementioned). Here's the tl;dr from the WP article below:

    "
    That sentiment has intensified in recent years, a period during which Samsung has obstructed price-fixing investigations — drawing only minor fines — and seen its chairman indicted for financial crimes, only to receive a presidential pardon “in the national interest,” as a government spokesman put it."

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/in-s-korea-the-republic-of-samsung/2012/12/09/71215420-3de1-11e2-bca3-aadc9b7e29c5_story.html

    I used to live there, so I have a lot of exposure with the Koreans. The corruption is very overt.

    Side note: They LOVE Apple there. That store is going to be HUGE
    watto_cobrabadmonkjony0
  • Reply 11 of 14
    He isn't likely to be involved in any long term strategy decisions for Samsung.  Those decisions are made in Cupertino. 
    Best I've read on here.
    watto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 12 of 14
    lkrupp said:
    So what? We’ll never see even a mention of this in the mainstream media.
    Is BBC mainstream? 
    South Korea scandal: Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong a suspect
    badmonk
  • Reply 13 of 14
    sog35 said:
    nothing will come of this.

    lets face it.  30% of the Korean economy is Samsung. Unless Samsung wants this guy in jail, he ain't going to jail.

    even if he's found guility, the Korean president will simply pardon him
    She was impeached and is now powerless. Unless congress does not hold to the impeachment findings she has no power with which to pardon him. 
    badmonk
  • Reply 14 of 14
    tylerd said:
    gatorguy said:
    sog35 said:
    nothing will come of this.

    lets face it.  30% of the Korean economy is Samsung. Unless Samsung wants this guy in jail, he ain't going to jail.

    even if he's found guility, the Korean president will simply pardon him
    Of course something will come of it if he's guilty. You've apparently not been following recent stories about Korean government and the current recently-impeached President selling influence in her administration. It's a big deal. Read the story.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-politics-samsung-group-idUSKBN14V0G6
    Hi @gatorguy ;; - As @Rayz2016 stated, South Korea is quick to pardon the guilty chaobol (family owned conglomerates) in Korea. The fact that Park is now also being persecuted probably won't change things much. Unfortunately, it is known that these companies routinely bribe politicians and judges. 

    Here is an example of a chaebol leader getting off in the interest of "revitalizing the economy", but there are many other cases:

    http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/park-grants-pardon-to-chaebol-chief

    And don't forget about Lee Kun-hee of Samsung (the father of the aforementioned). Here's the tl;dr from the WP article below:

    "That sentiment has intensified in recent years, a period during which Samsung has obstructed price-fixing investigations — drawing only minor fines — and seen its chairman indicted for financial crimes, only to receive a presidential pardon “in the national interest,” as a government spokesman put it."

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/in-s-korea-the-republic-of-samsung/2012/12/09/71215420-3de1-11e2-bca3-aadc9b7e29c5_story.html

    I used to live there, so I have a lot of exposure with the Koreans. The corruption is very overt.

    Side note: They LOVE Apple there. That store is going to be HUGE
    You are right, it is overt over here. But it is been a part of the growing unrest among the people. President Park, unless congress does not uphold the impeachment, cannot pardon. And after the mass demonstrations proving public unrest it is doubtful anyone will get off easily. public outcry and unrest over the chaebol and the wealthy is peaking. Things are changing over here. 
    edited January 11 badmonk
Sign In or Register to comment.