Samsung Leader Convicted of Corruption, Slapped With 5-Year Prison Sentence
Lee Jae-yong — the de facto leader of electronics juggernaut Samsung — will be playing with the new Samsung Galaxy behind bars, after he was convicted on bribery and corruption charges and sentenced to five years in prison on Friday.
The 49-year-old exec was found guilty of bribing former South Korea President Park Geun-hye in an effort to secure a merger that would tighten his grip on Samsung. Lee has been running Samsung — which leads the world in smartphone sales — since his father was hit by a heart attack in 2014.
“The public is disappointed that this kind of large-scale crime caused by cozy relations between politics and business still happens — it’s not in the past but remains a reality,” said Judge Kim Jin-dong in court, according to CNN.
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Lee’s conviction came up short of the 12-year term prosecutors were seeking, but his lawyers said they’ll immediately appeal the case. Lee was also found guilty of concealing criminal profits, hiding assets, embezzlement, and perjury.
The trial has been part of a larger corruption scandal that has rocked South Korea for months, leading to the impeachment and ousting of Park as president. The former leader was indicted in April on demanding a whopping $52 million in bribes.
On Friday, the judge placed some blame on the disgraced politician, saying he made “aggressive demands” of Samsung.
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Lee’s conviction may be a black-eye for the family-run tech giant, but it didn’t have much of an immediate impact on its business; shares of Samsung traded down only about one percent in Seoul after the verdict on Friday.
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Source: The Wrap