Judge gives Samsung heir five years in jail for bribery scandal
One of Samsung Group's executives and heir to the company, Lee Jae-jong, has been found guilty for his part in an earlier bribery scandal between Samsung Group and the impeached former President Park Geun-Hye. He was also convicted of giving false testimony in court and hiding overseas assets (likely for tax evasion).
The Samsung Group — whose products include smartphones, TVs, ARM CPUs, flash storage, screens, construction, medical and more — is South Korea's most economically important company, accounting for 20 percent of the local economy. The executive team was wanting a merger with another South Korean company, Cheil Industries Inc, but it was discovered that Lee and four other executives had paid US$6.4 million in bribes to the former President's administration to guarantee political support for the merger.
The judge who handed down the sentence made the following statement: "The essence of this case is the unethical bond between politics and money. The people expect that the power of a president, the top authority under the Constitution, will be used to serve all people and that big businesses act with social responsibility, through legal economic activities. Through this case, the people have come to question the fairness and honesty of the president and have come to distrust the ethical values of Samsung, the largest conglomerate."