Samsung has more trouble in the offing as fresh reports from Bloomberg confirm that heir to the business and the current boss at Samsung, Lee Jae-yong, has been indicted for bribery, embezzlement and hiding funds overseas. Lee was arrested a few weeks back on charges of bribery and influence-peddling, causing the impeachment of South Korea's 11th President, Park Geun-hye. He was also accused of bribing state officials to influence an important merger.
Lee is the current Vice Chairman of South Korea-based Samsung Electronics. He is also the son of Samsung’s head, Lee Kun-hee, and by that relationship, heir to the Samsung empire. Lee was accused of bribing $40 million to President Park’s confidant, for influencing policy changes. He was also accused of influencing a merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries back in 2015. The said merger was stone walled by many Samsung investors and was consequential in easing Lee into his leading role at Samsung, after his father suffered a heart attack in 2014. The merger later went through because of the approval of Seoul's state pension fund, one the largest shareholders in Samsung.
Apart from Lee, four other Samsung executives have also been charged including Corporate Strategy Office Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung and President Chang Choong-ki. Other key officials are also reportedly stepping down from their posts.
Lee’s trial is expected to last 18 months and the billionaire honcho has admitted to transferring fund to President Park. However, Lee said that the same was not done for any political gain.
This will surely not help boost investor confidence in Samsung, which has barely managed to scrape itself out of the Galaxy Note 7 mess.