Samsung heir Jay Y. Lee released from prison as court suspends sentence
Samsung’s vice chairman released after spending just under a year in prison.
Samsung vice chairman Jay Y. Lee has been released from prison following a successful appeal. The executive — heir to the Samsung chaebol — was found guilty of bribery and embezzlement in a case that brought down South Korean president Park Geun-hye last year.
Lee was found to have paid up to $8.2 million to the Park administration to shore up the government’s support over a merger between Samsung C&T Corp and Cheil Industries, which would’ve given the executive controlling power over the resulting entity. Lee was initially handed a five-year prison term, but he was set free after the Seoul High Court halved that to two and a half years and granted him a stay of execution on the sentence for four years.
Lee was incarcerated for just under a year (353 days), with Bloomberg noting that the executive will be on probation for four years. He is expected to resume his duties as Samsung’s vice chairman shortly.
As for Samsung, the company replaced all CEOs in Q3 2017, and while the manufacturer is facing a crisis in the boardroom, its profits have never been better. Samsung recorded profits of $50 billion in 2017, with the memory and display units seeing record growth.