Samsung Heir Lee Jae-yong Convicted and Sentenced to 5 Years In Corruption Scandal

I think this conviction means that former President Park will likely get convicted as well for corruption:

Lee Jae-yong

A Seoul court sentenced Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong to five years in prison Friday, finding him guilty of bribery, embezzlement and other charges in a massive corruption scandal that led to the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye.

The Seoul Central District Court handed down the verdict, convicting Lee of involvement in Samsung’s provision of 7.2 billion won (US$6.38 million) in bribes for the equestrian training of the daughter of Park’s longtime friend and confidante Choi Soon-sil.

Prosecutors had demanded a 12-year jail term for Lee on charges of offering or pledging 43.3 billion won of bribes to win the government’s blessing for a merger of two Samsung units under terms designed to increase his control over the entire Samsung empire so as to cement a power transfer from his ailing father Lee Kun-hee.

“The crux of this case is close collusion between political and capital powers,” the court said in the verdict. “It appears to be difficult for the people to recover from disappointment in that collusive ties between the president and a large conglomerate existed not in the past, but in the present.”  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link, but the article says that former President Park made demands to Lee that Samsung give money to Choi Soon-sil so her daughter could receive equestrian training.  Park is an idiot if that is in fact what happened.

Anyway it will be interesting to see how the appeals process works.  I would not be surprised that after this blows over that the appeal quietly happens and Lee receives a suspended sentence and is out of jail.

Samsung Heir Lee Jae-yong Arrested for Corruption Linked to ROK Presidential Scandal

Considering the mountain of lawyers that Lee Jae-yong is sure to have I hope the ROK prosecutors have some indisputable evidence if they have any hope of convicting him:

Lee Jae Yong

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., enters the Seoul Central District Court in southern Seoul on Feb. 16, 2017, to attend a hearing on the legitimacy of his arrest sought for the second time by special prosecutors for alleged bribery involving impeached President Park Geun-hye and related to the merger of two of Samsung’s affiliates. (Yonhap)

Lee Jae-yong, Samsung Group’s de facto leader, was formally arrested Friday on charges of bribery in connection with a high-profile corruption scandal surrounding President Park Geun-hye and her friend.

With the Seoul Central District Court issuing the arrest warrant, Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., became the first leader of the country’s largest business group to be detained in a criminal probe.

The investigation team, led by Independent Counsel Park Young-soo, requested the writ for a second time on Tuesday — less than a month after its first request on Lee’s charges of bribery, embezzlement and perjury was turned down.

In their second pursuit of the warrant, the prosecutors leveled more charges against the tycoon, including hiding criminal proceeds and violating the law on transferring assets abroad in the process of giving bribes to the president’s friend Choi Soon-sil.

“The rationale for and the necessity of (Lee’s) arrest is acknowledged considering the new charges and additional evidence collected,” the court said in a text message sent to reporters.

The court, however, rejected the request for a warrant to arrest Samsung Electronics President Park Sang-jin, saying it is difficult to recognize the need for his detention.

Following the court’s decision, Lee is to stay at a detention center in Uiwang, south of Seoul, where he had been waiting for the ruling.

Prosecutors have suspected that Lee gave or promised some 43 billion won (US$36.3 million) worth of bribes to Choi in exchange for the government’s backing of a merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

Arrest Warrant Issued for Heir to Samsung for Perjury and Bribery

It will be interesting to see if the prosecutors have the evidence to prove their case because Samsung and the women behind the ROK Presidential scandal Choi Soon-sil as well as President Park Geun-hye are denying everything:

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., leaves the special prosecutor’s office in Seoul on Jan. 13, 2017, after 22 hours of questioning over allegations Samsung Group offered financial aid to President Park Geun-hye’s longtime friend Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the center of a massive corruption scandal, in return for business favors. (Yonhap)

Special prosecutors on Monday requested an arrest warrant for Lee Jae-yong, Samsung Group’s de facto leader, on charges of bribery, embezzlement and perjury in connection with an influence-peddling scandal that led to President Park Geun-hye’s impeachment.

Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., is accused of giving or promising to give some 43 billion won (US$36.3 million) worth of bribes to Park’s jailed friend Choi Soon-sil in return for the state-run pension fund’s backing of a merger of two Samsung affiliates, the team’s spokesman Lee Kyu-chul told a regular press briefing.

Samsung signed a 22 billion won consulting contract in August 2015 with a Germany-based firm owned by the woman who is at the center of the scandal and allegedly sent the company billions of won, which was used to fund her daughter’s equestrian training, according to prosecutors. The money that was originally promised to be handed over was included in the amount deemed as bribes, Lee, the spokesman, said.

Some 20.4 billion won the group donated to two nonprofit foundations, allegedly linked to Choi, was also viewed as a kickback. It was the largest amount given by any business group to the organizations.

Prosecutors suspect Samsung supported Choi in return for the National Pension Service (NPS) approving the contested merger of two Samsung subsidiaries on July 17, 2015.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

Samsung Heir Says That President Park Pressured Him to Give Money to Friend’s Organizations

If President Park was pressuring Lee Jae-yong to have Samsung donate millions of dollars to Choi Soon-sil’s organizations in return for political favors this would justify the impeachment:

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong leaves the special counsel team’s office in southern Seoul on Jan. 13, 2017, after being questioned for 22 hours in connection with a corruption scandal. (Yonhap)

Lee Jae-yong, Samsung Group’s de facto leader, has claimed that President Park Geun-hye forced his company to provide billions of won to various organizations linked to her confidante at the center of a corruption scandal, an official said Friday.

Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., made the claim to a special probe team investigating the widening scandal involving Park and her friend Choi Soon-sil, the official close to the team said. His latest statement does not match what he said at a parliamentary hearing held last month. At the time, Lee said the president only talked about matters related to the conglomerate and its investment plans during a private meeting in 2015.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link, but Lee’s story differs from what he said last month that he was not pressured to give money to Choi.  However, according to this KBS report Lee said that he was pressured by Park to give money, but he did not request any political favors in return:

The decision on whether or not to request an arrest warrant for Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong for his links to the Choi Soon-sil scandal may come as early as Saturday.

The independent counsel team’s spokesman Lee Kyu-chul told reporters on Friday that a decision regarding Lee, who faces bribery and perjury charges, will come on Saturday or Sunday.

The team is said to be leaning toward requesting the warrant as it believes Lee was deeply involved in giving Choi and her family hefty sums of money in return for government support for Samsung C&T’s merger with Cheil Industries in 2015.

The team led by Park Young-soo will also take into account conflicting statements he made from his testimony during a hearing last month at the National Assembly.

Lee returned home at around 8 a.m. Friday after undergoing 22 hours of investigation by the independent counsel team.

The Samsung heir is said to have told investigators that though it’s true that Samsung Group extended huge amounts of money to Choi and her family due to pressure from President Park Geun-hye’s, the funds were not given in return for favors.  [KBS World Radio]

I guess we will see how this plays out in the coming days.

Samsung Heir Breaks the Top 200 of the World’s Richest People

The Samsung heir apparent has cracked Bloomberg’s Top 200 of the world’s richest people:

samsung image

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of South Korean tech firm Samsung Electronics Co., made the list of the world’s top 200 richest people for the first time as Samsung Group’s heir apparent raked in big fortunes from successful initial public offerings of its two affiliates, the Bloomberg Billionaire Index showed Tuesday.

The 46-year-old Lee’s listed stock value was estimated at US$7.2 billion to rank 183rd worldwide in the latest Bloomberg index, making him the second-wealthiest person in South Korea after his father, Lee Kun-hee.

The senior Lee, who is recuperating from a heart attack he suffered in May, ranked No. 77, with his listed assets worth $13.1 billion as of early Tuesday, the index showed.

Formerly among the world’s 400 richest people in September, the junior Lee has made a big leap forward as the nation’s most powerful conglomerate listed two of its affiliates — Samsung SDS Co. and Cheil Industries Inc. — in just over a month, in a move seen as preparing for management succession. [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.