Samsung heir Jay Y. Lee sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for bribery and embezzlement

The Seoul Supreme Court in South Korea sentenced Lee to 2 1/2 years in prison on Monday after being found guilty of embezzlement and bribery. After the verdict, he was taken into custody.

It’s the latest twist in a controversy that has haunted Samsung for years. Lee, also known as Jay Y. Lee, was embroiled in a massive influence scandal that overthrew the government of old South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Park himself spent about two decades in jail on the case.

Lee was found guilty of bribery and other corruption charges in 2017 and was sentenced to five years in prison. But he went free in less than a year when an appeals court dropped some of the charges and overturned his sentence.

This latest sentence is the result of a retrial ordered by the country’s Supreme Court.

Lee’s return to prison comes at a critical time for Samsung. His father Lee Kun-hee, the chairman of the company, died last year. The elderly Lee has been in a coma since his heart attack in 2014 but continued to be the company’s chairman. His son was the de facto leader of Samsung.

Samsung declined to comment on the conviction, relying instead on a testimony from Lee’s lawyers.

“This case is essentially a violation of the company’s rights to freedom and property by the former president abusing her power,” said Injae Lee, the attorney who leads the vice chairman’s defense team. “I find the decision of the court regrettable.”

However, the company’s shares fell after the Seoul announcement. Samsung ((SSNLF) Stock fell nearly 3.8%.

Lee can appeal if he so wishes, although it was not immediately clear whether he intended to do so.

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Lee’s legal troubles aren’t over either. He is facing a separate process over a controversial merger in 2015 that helped him tighten control over the company. Eleven Samsung executives, including Lee, were charged with illegal transactions, stock manipulation and perjury last year.

This case is still pending.

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