Prosecutors in Seoul have requested the arrest of Lee Jae-yong, the heir and presumptive head of the Samsung Group. He is accused of stock price manipulation and audit violations within the massively complicated web of Samsung-related companies.
He has, however, been prominent in Korea’s fight against coronavirus. Lee put Samsung, the world’s largest maker of memory chips, mobile devices and electronic displays, at the front of a drive to increase COVID-19 testing kits, It also provided $39 million of aid and loaned out doctors, engineers and a corporate jet.
Nevertheless, Lee’s problems are piling up. Reuters reports that he also faces trial on a charge of bribery aimed at winning support for him to succeed ailing group patriarch Lee Kun-hee. He and Samsung have both denied the accusations.
Lee was last month called in to speak to prosecutors, and held a press conference to apologize for the complications over succession and control. “I pledge to create a new Samsung that is level with the national dignity of South Korea,” he said.
In August 2017, Lee was sentenced to five years in prison for corruption intended to win support for the then Park Geun-hee government for a 2015 corporate manoeuvre which helped him tighten his control at Samsung. He was released from jail in February 2018.
Disgraced president, Park instituted a blacklist of entertainment talent who were not to receive government funding. She also leaned on CJ Entertainment to make patriotic movies such as “Roaring Currents” and “Ode to My Father.”