South Korea Wants the Samsung CEO Back in Jail

Prosecutors in South Korea are requesting a warrant for arrest against Jay Y. Lee, vice president of Samsung Electronics, for fraud in a merger of a Samsung subsidiary.


Jay Y. Lee, also known as Lee Jae-Yong, is the grandson of Samsung’s founder.

The case is about Samsung Biologics, whose financial regulator in Korea is said to have determined that the company’s value would have increased by 4.5 trillion won.

This helped to increase the value of the principal owner, Cheil Industries, of which Lee was the main shareholder. The company subsequently merged with Samsung C&T, which in practice was a holding company.

When the arrest warrant comes, it’s not the first time Jay Y. Lee flies into jail. In 2017 he once received a prison sentence for bribery, embezzlement and perjury.

In a nutshell, he managed to buy up confidants of the now-resigned Korean President Park in exchange for political support in the merger of two of Samsung’s subsidiaries.

That was in line with the plan to give Lee more power over Samsung. However, Lee appealed and was rereleased in 2018.

In a statement from his lawyers, the Samsung CEO expresses his sincere regret and says that he fully cooperates with the investigation.

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