Lee Jae-yong: Samsung heir faces new charges over 2015 merger

Lee Jae-yong: Samsung heir faces new charges over 2015 merger

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Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong faces new stock and account fraud allegations about his role in a merger deal.

South Korean prosecutors on Tuesday charged Lee with criminal attempts to gain control of the Samsung Group in 2015.

In 2017, Lee, 52, was convicted of charges including bribery in connection with the deal, but his five-year prison sentence was suspended.

He is unlikely to be remanded in custody pending trial on new charges.

However, the prosecution ignored the Citizens’ Committee’s recommendation that Lee not be charged.

Lee faced prosecutors in 2017 in an alleged case of a political and business scandal that rocked South Korea, including the resignation and sentencing of former President Park Geun-hye.

He was convicted of charges including bribery, fraud, concealment of assets abroad and fraud, and the court sentenced him to five years in prison.

But six months later that sentence was halved, and the Seoul High Court decided to suspend the prison sentence, meaning he was free to go.

In the 2017 case, Samsung was accused of winning $ 43 billion (35.7 million; .1 28.1 million) for two nonprofit foundations run by Ms. Park’s friend Choi Soon-sil in exchange for political support.

More specifically, it was accused of involving support for the controversial Samsung merger, which led to Lee becoming head of the companies, an agreement that would require the support of the National Pension Fund run by the South Korean government.

Lee denied the allegations. He accepted the donations, but said Samsung did not want anything in return.

Also known as Jay Yo Lee, he is the son of Lee Kun-hee, chairman of the Samsung Group, South Korea’s largest company. He is also the grandson of Samsung founder Lee Pyongyang.

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Cory Weinberg

About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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