Sometimes life can be just as twisted as the thriller movies we watch. This certainly proved to be true in the case of Jay Y. Lee (also known as Lee Jae-yong), the heir to the Samsung fortune, and the controversy he’s found himself in.
You see, the business magnate has been in a legal battle for years now due to his alleged corruption and acts of bribery.
The current case he’s facing revolves around whether or not Lee and Samsung resorted to illegal activities to help him take over the family business. If proven true, he could land himself in jail for a second time.
He was first sentenced to prison in 2017 because of his involvement in the bribery scandal that brought down the then-South Korean president Park Geun-hye. Lee received a reduced sentence less than a year later and was released.
Lee has been acting as the de facto leader of Samsung in the absence of his father.
South Korean Conspiracy
The allegations against Lee include him supposedly using $36 million to bribe the government and the entities run by Choi Soon-sil, the daughter of a South Korean cult leader. The money bought assurance that a merger of two of Samsung’s affiliates would push through.
The court has ordered a retrial of Lee’s case. However, hearings have been delayed due to the suspicion that one of the judges would rule in favor of the businessman.
This could further push back hearings as the Supreme Court decides whether to keep the judge or not.
Meanwhile, Lee is also being investigated about the merger between the two Samsung affiliates. It is suspected that Samsung Biologics Co. knowingly inflated its own valuation prior to its IPO.
Still Going Strong
But despite all of the controversy that its leader is facing, Samsung is amazingly still doing well as a company. Its stock has been consistently increasing in value in the past years except for recent setbacks.
Samsung also dominated the 2019 yearly mobile phone sales after it captured a 19.2% share of the market. This meant sales of over 296 million units.
However, the company might be in for a few challenges in the future as its leader continues to face trouble with the law. For example, Samsung executives may find it difficult to reach decisions on major things like mergers and acquisitions without the captain of the ship.