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  • Possible Life Sentence for Samsung Heir


    (ATR) Samsung heir Jay Lee could head back to prison following fresh charges in the 2015 case that previously sent him to prison.

    Jay Lee is the de facto leader of Samsung. (Wikipedia)
    On Tuesday, Seoul's Central District Prosecutors' Office indicted Lee and 10 other Samsung executives on a variety of charges including stock price manipulation and accounting fraud. The alleged malfeasance was part of a merger that would have granted Lee more control over the Samsung empire.

    According to CNN, Lee was not taken into custody and lawyers for Samsung issued a statement saying these are “one-sided claims by the investigation team that are not based on evidence and law, and by no means true."

    Reuters quoted Bok Hyun Lee, senior prosecutor at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office explaining their decision to file charges saying: “We took into account the gravity of the issue, which disturbed the order of the capital market.”

    Should Lee be found guilty he could face a sentence of five years to life according to media reports.

    Jay Lee was found guilty in 2015 in the original trial from the merger and sentenced to five years in prison. An appeals court later dismissed charges and suspended his sentence. He ended up spending nearly a year in jail.

    Lee is currently the de facto head of the sprawling Samsung Group conglomerate. The South Korean-based company is also an IOC TOP Sponsor and still chaired by Lee’s father, Kun-Hee. The elder lee is an Honorary IOC Member since 2017. The elder Lee was an IOC member from 1996 until 2017 and is in failing health.

    Kun-Hee Lee is also no stranger to the South Korean criminal justice system including a 2008 conviction that was pardoned by the then South Korean president so Lee could remain an IOC member.

    Samsung has a history that could fill a book on corporate corruption. In his book “Samsung Rising”, Geoffrey Cain documented no fewer than eight controversies stretching back decades. In February 2020 the chairman of Samsung Electronics quit in the midst of controversy over union interference. He spent less than two months on the job and was imprisoned for his role.

    Homepage photo: Samsung

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