Samsung Executive Sentenced To Five Years In Jail For Part In Bribery Case

Image courtesy of Samuel M. Livingston

Samsung vice chairman Jay Y. Lee, who was indicted and arrested in February in connection with a massive bribery case in South Korea, has been found guilty on multiple charges and sentenced to five years in prison.

Reuters reports that Lee was found guilty of bribery, hiding assets abroad, embezzlement, and perjury after a six-month trial related to a corruption scandal involving the country’s former president.

The Case

Lee, who denied any wrongdoing, was first publicly tied to the case in January when he faced 22 hours of questioning related to his part in the scandal.

The questioning and eventual indictment came after the South Korean special prosecutor’s 90-day investigation into a corruption scandal involving now-former South Korea President Park Geun-hye.

The case involves whether or not millions of dollars in payments from Samsung to businesses and foundations run by an associate of the President’s — Choi Soon-sil — constituted a bribe, and if Lee had any personal dealings with the contributions.

The prosecutor’s office alleged that Samsung’s contributions — including $17 million in donations to Choi’s foundation and millions of dollars worth of contracts to companies she ran or was involved with — were made in exchange for a decision by the National Pension Services to support a merger of two of the electronic company’s affiliates.

The merger was personally reportedly beneficial to Lee, as it eventually led him to take over control of Samsung from his father.

A lawyer for Lee tells Reuters that they will appeal the decision, calling the verdict unacceptable.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.