South Korean prosecutors to request sentence for Samsung chief

South Korean prosecutors to request sentence for Samsung chief

Lawyers prosecuting Jay Y Lee, the de facto head of Samsung Group, will propose his sentence today. The coming verdict will determine how seriously special prosecutor Park Young-soo cleaning up corruption in the tightly knit corporate community. Lee has been accused of bribing ousted President Park Geun-hye’s confidante, Choi Soon-sil, with over $30 million of donations

Photo: Reuters/Kim Hong-ji

Photo: Reuters/Kim Hong-ji

Lawyers prosecuting Jay Y Lee, the de facto head of Samsung Group, will propose his sentence today. The coming verdict will determine how seriously special prosecutor Park Young-soo cleaning up corruption in the tightly knit corporate community.

Lee has been accused of bribing ousted President Park Geun-hye’s confidante, Choi Soon-sil, with over $30 million of donations to Choi’s foundations.

The prosecution claims this payment drove Park to pressure the country’s state-run pension fund into allowing the contentious merger of two Samsung affiliates. The merger, which consolidated Lee’s power over Samsung’s smartphone production, has resulted in another collaborator’s 30 month prison sentence for corruption.

While Samsung Group has been thriving throughout Lee’s five months in prison, a potential prison sentence of five years may put a damper on leadership in the country’s largest “chaebol,” or family run conglomerate. Whether new president Moon Jae-in then pardons the executive will forecast government-chaebol relations throughout his upcoming term.