Billionaire Samsung Scion receives 2-1/2 years of imprisonment
Billionaire Samsung Scion and Lee Jae-Yong was sent back to prison on Monday after a South Korean court handed him a 2-1/2 year sentence due to his involvement in a corruption scandal that took place in 2016.
In a retrial, the Seoul High Court found Lee guilty of bribing then President Park Geun-hye and her close confidante to win government support for a merger between two Samsung affiliates. That deal helped strengthen his control over the country’s largest business group.
Lee’s lawyers had portrayed him as a victim of presidential power and describe the deal of 2015 as a part of “normal business activity.” Lee was taken into custody following the ruling and didn’t answer any questions by reporters upon his arrival at the court.
It is not clear what his present term would mean for the Samsung company. The company didn’t show much signs of trouble during the previous time that Lee spent in jail in 2017 and 2018, and present terms have never really stopped South Korean corporate leaders from relaying their management decisions from behind bars.
Samsung electronics said earlier this month that its operating profit for the last quarter rose by 26% from the same time a year ago. Lee, 52, was originally sentenced in 2017 to five years in prison for offering 8.6 billion won (USD $7 million) in bribes to Park and her longtime friend Choi Soon-Sil.