Samsung heir Lee Jae-Yong sentenced to 2.5 years in jail for bribery by a South Korean court
Back in September 2020, we wrote about Vice-chairman and heir of Samsung, Lee Jae-Yong, after he was indicted on new fraud charges over his role in a 2015 merger deal at the tech giant. South Korean prosecutors accused Lee of using stock and accounting fraud to try to gain control of the Samsung Group.
Today, The Seoul High Court on Monday found Lee guilty of bribery, embezzlement, and concealment of criminal proceeds and sentenced him to two and a half years in jail by a South Korean court on Monday, according to a report from Reuters. Samsung related shares plunge after the news. Lee, 52, has been the de facto head of Samsung Electronics since his father, Lee Kun-hee, died in October at the age of 78. In rendering the verdict, Presiding Judge Jeong Jun-yeong, said:
“(Lee) has shown willingness for management with newly strengthened compliance, as he has vowed to create a transparent company. Despite some shortcomings… I hope that over time, it will be evaluated as a milestone in the history of Korean companies as a beginning for compliance and ethics.”
Lee Jae-Yong is a South Korean business magnate and the vice-chairman of Samsung, the world’s number one company in the smartphone market. Until recently, Lee, 52, served as de facto head of Samsung Electronics. He is the eldest child and only son of Hong Ra-hee and Lee Kun-hee, Chairman of Samsung, and is widely considered to be his father’s future successor.
In January 2017, Lee was accused “of bribery, embezzlement, and perjury” by the South Korean prosecutor’s office, and after multiple investigations, he was arrested on February 16, 2017. On August 25, 2017, Lee was sentenced to 5 years in prison after being found guilty of corruption. On February 5, 2018, the appeals court suspended his sentence and reduced it to 2.5 years, releasing him.