The Samsung Heir Lee Jae-Yong is sentenced to five years in prison. He is alleged to have been involved in corruption. The authorities claim Lee Jae-Yong bribed officials, which has also resulted in the impeachment of the South Korean President.
Lee Jae-Yong Connection to South Korean President
The allegations point to Lee Jae-Yong donating large sums of money to Choi Soon-sil. Choi Soon-sil is a friend of the Former South Korean President Park Geun-Hye. The donations amount to 41 billion won or $36 million. Reports suggest he gave donations to the NGOs owned by Choi Soon-sil.
The allegations against the Former South Korean President Park Geun-Hye state that she received large sums of money from South Korean chaebols. One of those chaebols include Samsung where she allegedly helped Lee Jae-Yong gain control.
Charges Against Lee Jae-Yong
Lee Jae-Yong allegedly bribed Choi Soon-sil through the non-profit organizations. He is in custody since February on different corruption charges.
The charges include hiding of assets overseas and embezzlement. The government sources allege the purpose of these bribes was to restructure the ownership. This restructuring would then help him increase control over the company.
The lawyer of the Samsung Heir has already indicated that they would go for appeal against this judgment. Many believe that this decision will bring a bad name to the South Korean smartphone manufacturer. The company has already seen a dip in the shares price by 1%. It comes as a shock for a company that just launched its flagship Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
Like Father Like Son
Well, Lee Jae-Yong and his family are not new to these charges. Back in 2009, his father was given a three-year sentence for tax evasion. The public was not happy terming it as a lenient sentence. However, the reason given for a lenient sentence was his father’s contributions to country’s economic development. Plus, the court had argued that he helped create jobs in the country.
Too Big to Be Jailed
South Korea has given sentences to business leaders in the past too, commonly referred to as chaebols. The public in South Korea believes that these chaebols are given lenient sentences. However, the court has defied the pressure so far to give him a longer sentence. Yet, the court has sentenced someone as powerful as Lee Jae-Yong, considered to be too big to be jailed.
Lee Jae-Yong Business and Net Worth
Lee Jae-Yong joined the business in 1991, working as the VP of Strategic Planning & afterward as Chief Customer Officer. The tax evasions allegations against his father made it difficult for him to take over Samsung as Chairman. However, his chances of reaching the top echelons of Samsung became brighter when he took over as Chief Operating Officer in Dec 2012. He stands as one of the principal shareholders of the company with an estimated net worth of $7 billion.