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Billionaire smack down! Samsung heir, Lee Jae-yong, jailed 5 years in controversial bribery case that led to ouster South Korea’s former leader Park Geun-hye

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Billionaire Samsung heir jailed 5 years prison in bribery scandal that rocked South Korea govt
Lee Jae-yong, 49, was sentenced to five years in prison at the Seoul Central District Court  on Friday
Controversial bribery case that led to ouster South Korea’s former leader Park Geun-hye 
Lee allegedly offered $38 million in bribes to four entities controlled by Choi Soon-sil, a long-time friend of President Park
Choi was to facilitate govt help with a merger that strengthened Lee’s control over Samsung after his father suffered a heart attack in 2014
Former-Samsung executives
Choi Gee-sung, and Chang Choong-ki also guilty, sentenced to four years in prison
Two other former Samsung executives received suspended prison terms
Lee Jae-yong 2.jpgThe perp walk: Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong, [in suit], leaves after his verdict trial at the Seoul Central District Court on Friday

A South Korean court sentenced the billionaire chief of Samsung to five years in prison for bribery and other crimes in a stunning downfall for the heir to South Korea’s biggest family fortune and a global consumer electronics empire.
The Seoul Central District Court said Friday that Lee Jae-yong, 49, was guilty of offering bribes to Park Geun-hye when she was South Korea’s president, and to Park’s close friend, to get government support for efforts to cement his control over the Samsung empire. The revelations that led to Lee’s arrest in February fed public outrage which contributed to Park’s removal as president.
A panel of three judges also found Lee guilty of embezzling Samsung funds, hiding assets overseas, concealing profit from criminal acts and perjury. Prosecutors had sought a 12-year prison term.

Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye 1.pngFormer South Korean President Park Geun-hye arrives for her trial in the Samsung bribery scandal  at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017

Lee was accused of offering $38 million in bribes to four entities controlled by Choi Soon-sil, a long-time friend of Park, in exchange for government help with a merger that strengthened Lee’s control over Samsung after his father suffered a heart attack in 2014.
Samsung has not denied transferring corporate funds. But Lee, vice chairman at Samsung Electronics and the Samsung founder’s grandson, claimed innocence during the court hearing. He said he was unaware of the foundations or the donations, which were overseen by other executives.
The Seoul Central District Court Friday convicted  Lee Jae-yong, 49, on charges of offering bribes to Park Geun-hye when she was South Korea’s president, and to Park’s close friend, to get government support for efforts to cement his control over the Samsung empire. The revelations that led to Lee’s arrest in February fed public outrage which contributed to Park’s removal.
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A panel of three judges also found Lee guilty of embezzling Samsung funds, hiding assets overseas, concealing profit from criminal acts and perjury. Prosecutors had sought a 12-year prison term.
The court said Lee and Samsung executives who advised him caused “a big negative effect” to South Korean society and its economy.
“The essence of the case is unethical collusion between political power and capital,” the court said in a statement. It led the public to fundamentally question the public nature of the president’s work and to have “mistrust in the morality of the Samsung group,” it said.

south-koreas-president-park-geun-hye-and-her-infamous-adviser-choi-soon-sil-rightSouth Korean media depict Choi (background in white) as the force behind President Park (foreground) in the wake of the bribery scandal
A protester holds banners reading "Out, Lee Jae-yong"  1.jpgEnraged public: A protester holds banners reading “Out, Lee Jae-yong,” right, near the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul, Friday

The closely-watched verdict is the latest convulsion in a political scandal that prompted millions of South Koreans to protest last fall, culminating in the ouster and arrest of Park as well as the arrests of Choi and Lee. Park, who was embroiled in a tumultuous series of scandals, was removed from office in March. She and Choi are both currently on trial.
Judges pointed to an unusual arrangement in which Samsung bankrolled equestrian training for Choi’s daughter as proof of Lee’s knowledge of what was transpiring.
They said Lee was aware that Park, president at the time, wanted Samsung to sponsor the equestrian training.
Samsung secretively provided a huge amount of money to Choi’s Germany-based company that paid for the training and the exorbitantly priced foreign horses worth 3.6 billion won [$3.2 million] were part of the bribes, the verdict said. The attempts to hide Samsung’s involvement also constituted crimes, it said. In total, Samsung paid $7.9 million to the German company, the judges said.

Lee Jae-yong 1.jpgLee Jae-yong, [right], plans to appeal his 5-year sentence in South Korea’s high profile scandal lawsuit. The scandal led to the impeachment former president Park

The verdict also dealt a blow to Samsung’s publicly stated position that recent business dealings or restructuring efforts have nothing to do with the succession of corporate leadership to Lee from his father. Instead, Samsung has insisted that a merger of two Samsung companies at the center of the scandal was about creating business benefits. Judges rejected Samsung’s argument.
“He was set to benefit most from the succession work, which was part of the favors sought from the president,” Kim Jin-dong, the head judge, said.
Other former Samsung executives charged with Lee were also found guilty.
Choi Gee-sung, a mentor of Lee, and Chang Choong-ki were sentenced to four years in prison. Two other former executives received suspended prison terms.
The ruling in Lee’s case can be appealed twice. Samsung will appeal the ruling immediately, Song Woo-cheol, a Samsung attorney, told reporters.

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