Samsung Heir is Under Investigation in a Corruption Scandal
The heir to the empire Samsung Lee Jae-Yong and four other executives of the world’s leading smartphone manufacturer were officially charged on Tuesday (February 28th) for corruption as part of the vast scandal that has rocked South Korea for months.
“The special investigators have charged the vice president of Samsung Electronics Lee Jae-Yong for corruption, abuse of corporate assets, concealment of assets abroad … and perjury,” said Lee Kyu-Chul, – spokesman of the special team working on this case which has earned President Park Geun-Hye to be dismissed.
Three of the four executives of Samsung accused at the same time as Lee Jae-Yong resigned Tuesday. Samsung also announced the “dismantling” of its Bureau of Future Strategies, which oversees all major decisions of the conglomerate.
Bribes vs. Political Favors
Lee Jae-Yong, 48, the son of the president of the first South Korean conglomerate, had already been placed in pre-trial detention by the courts at the request of the investigators on 17 February.
This charge almost certainly means that he and his four colleagues will be sent back to court, adding to the shock wave for a group that weighs one-fifth of the South Korean economy. Samsung is barely recovering from the debacle of its smartphone to explosive batteries.
The grandson of the group’s founder became Samsung’s de facto boss after his father’s heart attack in 2014.
Lee Jae-Yong is accused of, among other things, paying nearly $ 40 million in bribes to the confidante of Park Geun-Hye in exchange for political favors. The captain of industry denies all the burdens on his shoulders.
His colleagues are prosecuted for similar leaders, except for perjury.
The scandal is centered on Choi Soon-Sil, a friend of Park Geun-Hye, accused of using her influence to pull millions of dollars from businesses and meddle in state affairs.