According to Reuters, a court in Seoul sentenced the vice president of Samsung Electronics and the de facto head of the Samsung Group, Li Jae Young, to two and a half years in prison. He was accused of bribery.
Lee Jae Young was arrested in February 2017, and in August of that year, the court found him guilty of bribery, embezzlement of company funds, and perjury. He was sentenced to imprisonment for a period of five years, but a year later, the court changed the real term to a suspended one, and in 2019 sent the case for reconsideration. The year that Lee Jae Young has already served is likely to be counted as part of the appointed term, and he will be released no later than a year and a half later.
The investigation proved in court that Samsung transferred 43.3 billion won (approximately US $ 38 million) to the account of Choi Sun Sil, a friend of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye. After that, Samsung received approval from the country’s authorities to merge its two subsidiaries, and Lee Jae Young was able to establish full control over the Samsung group of companies. Park Geun-hye was dismissed and later on trial on charges of abuse of power, illegal pressure on large companies, and state secrets disclosure. She was sentenced to 25 years in prison and a fine of US $ 17.8 million.
Until recently, the formal head of the Samsung Group was Li Gong Hee, Li Jae Young’s father. He passed away in October 2020 at the age of 78, after which the authority to manage the conglomerate was documented transferred to his son.