Samsung vice chairman Jay Y. Lee sent back to prison in bribery case

Samsung Electronics vice chairman Jay Y. Lee is back in prison following a retrial of his 2017 conviction in a bribery case that helped lead to the downfall of former South Korean president Park Guen-hye. The Seoul High Court sentenced Lee to 30 months on Monday.

Lee was originally convicted of bribery in 2017 and sentenced to five years, but was released in 2018 after the sentence was reduced and suspended on appeal. In August 2019, however, South Korea’s Supreme Court overturned the appeals court, ruling that it was too lenient, and ordered the case to be retried.

Lee was expected to become chairman of Samsung after the death of his father, Lee Kun-hee, in October 2020. He has served as the chaebol’s de facto leader since his father suffered a stroke in 2014. With Lee’s sentencing today, it is unclear who will take over his responsibilities at Samsung.

Charges against Lee included bribing Park to gain support for deals that would have helped Lee inherit control of Samsung from his father. The illegal payments played a major role in the corruption scandal that led to Park’s impeachment, arrest and 25-year prison sentence.

 

The bribery case is separate from another one Lee is involved in, over alleged accounting fraud and stock manipulation. Hearings in that case begun in October.

TechCrunch has contacted Samsung for comment.

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Jay Y. Lee, Chief of South Korea’s Samsung Empire, Is Sent to Prison

Lee Jae-yong was convicted of bribing Park Geun-hye, the former president of South Korea who was impeached in 2017.

#extortion-and-blackmail, #lee-jae-yong-1968, #park-geun-hye, #samsung-group, #seoul-south-korea, #south-korea

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Samsung vice chairman Jay Y. Lee faces nine-year sentence in bribery case

Samsung Electronics vice chairman Jay Y. Lee faces a nine-year prison term in the bribery case that contributed to the downfall of former president Park Guen-hye. Prosecutors argued that the length of the sentence is warranted because of Samsung’s power as the largest chaebol, or family-owned conglomerate, in South Korea.

“Samsung is a group with such overwhelming power that it is said Korean companies are divided into Samsung and non-Samsung,” they said during a final hearing on Wednesday, reports the Korea Herald. The final ruling is scheduled for January 18.

The bribery case is separate from another trial Lee is involved in, over alleged accounting fraud and stock-price manipulation. Hearings in that case began in October.

The bribery case dates back to 2017, when Lee was convicted of bribing Park and her close associate Choi Soon-sil and sentenced to five years in prison. Prosecutors allege the bribes were meant to secure government backing for Lee’s attempt to inherit control of Samsung from his father Lee Kun-hee, then its chairman. The illegal payments were a major part of the corruption scandal that led to Park’s impeachment, arrest and 25-year prison sentence.

Lee was freed in 2018 after the sentence was reduced and suspended on appeal, and returned to work as Samsung’s de facto head, a position he took after his father had a heart attack in 2014.

In August 2019, however, the Supreme Court overturned the appeals court, ruling that it was too lenient, and ordered that the case be retried in Seoul High Court.

The elder Lee, who was reportedly South Korea’s wealthiest citizen, died in October. He was worth an estimated $20.7 billion and under the country’s tax system, and his heirs could be liable for estate taxes of about $10 billion, reported Fortune.

TechCrunch has contacted Samsung for comment.

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Lee Myung-bak, South Korean Ex-President, Is Ordered Back to Prison

The country’s Supreme Court upheld a 17-year sentence for Lee Myung-bak. He will be the second former leader of South Korea​ behind bars on corruption charges.

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Lee Kun-hee of Samsung Dies at 78; Built an Electronics Titan

Mr. Lee was convicted — and pardoned — twice for white-collar crimes, in a sign of the ills in South Korea’s relationship with its business dynasties.

#deaths-obituaries, #lee-kun-hee, #samsung-electronics-co, #samsung-group, #south-korea

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BTS Honored Korean War Sacrifices. Some in China Detected an Insult.

Samsung and Fila distanced themselves from the K-pop band, becoming the latest example of multinational companies deferring to Chinese patriotic sentiment.

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U.S. Places Restrictions on China’s Leading Chip Maker

The export controls follow a review in which the United States concluded that Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation may be supplying chips to the Chinese military.

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Samsung’s J.Y. Lee Faces New Charges

Lee Jae-yong stands accused of stock price manipulation and other offenses as he sought to tighten his control over the major corporate empire.

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South Korean court denies prosecutors’ arrest warrant request for Samsung heir Jay Lee

A South Korean court denied an arrest warrant request for Samsung Group heir apparent Jay Y. Lee, saying that although prosecutors’ secured “a considerable amount of evidence,” it was still not enough to detain Lee. Prosecutors filed for the warrant last week, accusing Lee of accounting fraud and stock manipulation.

Prosecutors allege that the value of electronics materials provider Cheil Industries was artificially inflated before its 2015 merger with Samsung C&T, Samsung’s de facto holding company, to create a more favorable rate for Lee, who was then the largest shareholder in Cheil.

Lee served nearly a year in jail between 2017 and 2018 after he was charged with bribing former President Park Geun-hye to secure support for the merger. The scandal eventually led to Park’s impeachment in 2017 and a 25-year prison term for bribery, abuse of power and embezzlement.

According to Nikkei Asian Review, Seoul Central District Court said in a statement, “It appears that prosecutors have secured a considerable amount of evidence through their investigation, but they fell short of explaining the validity to detain Lee.”

Prosecutors said the investigation would continue and they may apply again for an arrest warrant, or bring Lee to trial without an arrest. Lee’s attorneys said they want the case to be reviewed by an outside panel to decide if an indictment is justified.

TechCrunch has contacted Samsung for comment.

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South Korean Ends Yearlong Tower Protest After Samsung Apologizes

After 355 days perched atop a Seoul traffic tower, Kim Yong-hee, who says he was fired for labor activism, climbed down.

#apologies, #demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #kim-yong-hee, #labor-and-jobs, #organized-labor, #samsung-group, #south-korea

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Samsung Heir Apologizes for Corruption and Union-Busting Scandals

Lee Jae-yong said he would be the last of his family members to lead the South Korean corporate empire.

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‘My Last Stand’: In South Korea, a Protester’s Lone Fight Against Samsung

Kim Yong-hee has been ​staging sit-ins and hunger strikes at the top of an 82-foot-tall traffic camera tower overlooking the busiest intersection in Seoul — for more than 300 days and counting.

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