Samsung heir returns to prison over South Korean bribery scandal

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Samsung vice chairman and heir Lee Jae-yong has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for his role in a national bribery scandal.




A retrial of the bribery case involving former South Korean President Park Geun-hye has resulted in Lee receiving a prison sentence. The court determined Lee was guilty of bribery, embezzlement, and concealment of criminal proceeds, valued at around 8.6 billion won ($7.8 million.)

In its verdict, the court said Lee "actively provided bribes and implicitly asked the president to use her power to help his smooth succession" at the top of the company, reports the BBC.

Lee wasn't the only one to be criticized in the ruling, with the court commenting "It is very unfortunate that Samsung, the country's top company and proud global innovator, is repeatedly involved in crimes whenever there is a change in political power."

The trial was a redo of an earlier 2017 court case, where Lee was accused of paying bribes of up to 43 billion won ($37 million) to non-profit organizations linked to Choi Soon-sil, a confidante of then-president Park Geun-hye. In exchange, Park was to have blessed the merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015, which improved Lee's standings within the chaebol, a term used to describe a large family-owned conglomerate.

During that original trial, Lee was sentenced to five years imprisonment, though prosecutors sought a 12-year sentence. In early 2018, Lee's sentence was suspended in time for Samsung to sponsor the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games.

Due to having already served some time over the matter, Lee now only has to spend 18 months in prison.

Lee is effectively the head of the company, following the death of former chief Lee Kun-hee. Lee took over control of Samsung in 2014 after Lee Kun-hee, his father, was hospitalized following a heart attack.

This isn't the only legal matter Lee Jae-young is dealing with. In June 2020, authorities issued a warrant for his arrest, under accusations he was manipulating markets and undertaking accounting fraud.

As well as a potential shake-up at the top of the company as the chaebol deals with a large inheritance tax bill, Lee's sentence means someone else has to take its place at the top of the company for the moment, affecting the course of its investments and changing Lee's level of control over the company.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    “proud global innovator”

    Mmm, okay, if you say so. 

    Anyway, he’ll be out in a couple of months, so no harm done. 
    edited January 18 watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 6
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,454member
    Somebody didn’t payoff enough politicians it would seem.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 6
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,260member
    Rayz2016 said:
    “proud global innovator”

    Mmm, okay, if you say so. 

    Anyway, he’ll be out in a couple of months, so no harm done. 

    Supposedly, with time served, that'll be in 18 months.

    I give S Korea a lot of credit though:  They've taken down some very high level people on this corruption investigation.
    This is a country who does things right:   They bit the bullet and successfully attacked both the Corona Virus and political and corporate corruption.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 6
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,260member
    lkrupp said:
    Somebody didn’t payoff enough politicians it would seem.
    No, the politicians were an integral part of it -- and they've been taken down too:


    South Korea's top court upholds former leader Park Geun-hye's 20-year prison sentence

    "South Korea's highest court has upheld former President Park Geun-hye's 20-year prison sentence for her 2018 bribery conviction, ending a corruption scandal that has gripped the country for years.

    Park was initially sentenced to 24 years in prison after she was found guilty on multiple counts of abuse of power, bribery and coercion. Those charges related to a massive influence-peddling case that prompted widespread protests, implicated some of the country's most powerful figures and saw her removed from office in 2017.
    ...
    Shortly after Park was stripped of her office, she was arrested and put on trial for soliciting bribes from major conglomerates in the country, including Samsung. In 2018,"


    It looks like South Korea is not one of the countries that tolerates corruption.   It took them awhile -- years actually -- but they have taken down some of the richest, most powerful people in the country.






    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 5 of 6
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Rayz2016 said:
    “proud global innovator”

    Mmm, okay, if you say so. 

    Anyway, he’ll be out in a couple of months, so no harm done. 

    Supposedly, with time served, that'll be in 18 months.

    I give S Korea a lot of credit though:  They've taken down some very high level people on this corruption investigation.
    This is a country who does things right:   They bit the bullet and successfully attacked both the Corona Virus and political and corporate corruption.
    Well, I’m not convinced about the political and corporate corruption, since they seem to operate a revolving prison door for Samsung directors, but the UK and the US are just as bad so I can’t really say much. 

    And I will have to agree that South Korea and Taiwan have done an admirable job of handling the pandemic. 

    Hopefully the US will start to turn a corner now that the adults are back in charge. 


    roundaboutnowmuthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 6
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,260member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    “proud global innovator”

    Mmm, okay, if you say so. 

    Anyway, he’ll be out in a couple of months, so no harm done. 

    Supposedly, with time served, that'll be in 18 months.

    I give S Korea a lot of credit though:  They've taken down some very high level people on this corruption investigation.
    This is a country who does things right:   They bit the bullet and successfully attacked both the Corona Virus and political and corporate corruption.
    Well, I’m not convinced about the political and corporate corruption, since they seem to operate a revolving prison door for Samsung directors, but the UK and the US are just as bad so I can’t really say much. 

    And I will have to agree that South Korea and Taiwan have done an admirable job of handling the pandemic. 

    Hopefully the US will start to turn a corner now that the adults are back in charge. 



    I think the analogy might be the U.S. of the later 1800's and early 1900's:   The corporate elites (with the assistance of the political elite) did a lot of good things -- but they did them by and through doing a lot of bad things.

    It is a struggle and a debate that continues to this day:  
    -- Should oil, gas & coal companies be allowed to power the nation while contributing to climate change -- and be subsidized while they do it?
    -- Should insurance companies be allowed to power a great health care industry while only insuring the healthy & those expected to remain healthy?
    -- Should drug companies be granted monopolies over life saving drugs that drive people into poverty and even death -- so that they can develop more life saving drugs?
    .... And they do all of that good (and bad) by buying the politicians we pay to control them!

    There is no completely right or wrong way.  It's why I believe in moderation: You might give up some of the best but you can also get rid of some of the worst.   I suspect that is what South Korea is doing.
    muthuk_vanalingam
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