Samsung Chief Indicted Over Corruption And Bribery Scandal

Samsung heir grilled again in corruption scandal

The last-minute decision to indict Mr Lee - a day before the special prosecution team investigating the scandal is to be wound up - is a painful blow to Samsung, which is recovering from the embarrassment of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone which had to...

Most scandalous is that Lee was tipped to lead Samsung into the future. Per the reports, Samsung was one of the highest single donor of Choi's foundation, which he had created to help Park with her policy initiatives.

Lee Jae-yong, the Vice President of Samsung, who was arrested on February 17 for his supposed role in the bribery scandal has been found guilty on several counts, including embezzlement and improper use of the company's corporate strategy office.

A senior Samsung official said it is hard for the senior Lee to live up to the donation pledge, apparently given to his health condition. The four Samsung executives have identified as part of the scandal are Samsung Group Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung, President Chang Choong-ki and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd President Park Sang-jin and Executive Vice President Hwang Sung-soo. A controversial merger between Samsung affiliates that Park allegedly aided was key to solidifying his position.

The formal charges come less than two weeks after an arrest warrant on Lee was executed by police. Three of them resigned on Tuesday following the announcement. Vice-chairman Choi Gee-sung was also arrested and charged with helping to facilitate bribes between Samsung management and associates of President Park Geun-hye.

Samsung Group, which has denied paying bribes to Ms Park or seeking improper favours from her, declined to comment on the indictment.

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The tech giant also expects a personnel reshuffle of top executives for each affiliate's board of directors, company officials told Yonhap news agency.

Park was impeached in the fallout from the scandal, with the country's Constitutional Court expected to rule within weeks on whether to remove her from office. That in turn helped Jay Y. Lee and other large shareholders of Samsung Group to see gains of some 855 billion won ($756 million) while causing losses of 139 billion won for the pension fund.

Corruption has dogged many other business leaders in South Korea's family-controlled conglomerates, which are known as chaebol.

Others that were indicted include political operatives like a former presidential aide and several academics accused of smoothing over the admission to a university of Choi Soon-sil's daughter.

Not only will Jay Y. Lee, the company's vice chairman continue to run the company from behind bars (something that is not uncommon in South Korea) but he has already set up an infrastructure that will allow the company to run without a hitch as the scandal plays out, at least for now.

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