Samsung vice chairman and the company's heir apparent Jay Y. Lee is headed to jail after a court in Korea ruled that he is guilty of bribery, embezzlement, capital flight and perjury charges.
Lee, who has been earmarked as the future leader of the company, was handed a five-year jail sentence, although he is expected to appeal the decision. He took a board seat at Samsung last year in a move that symbolized his ascension and the expectation that Lee would replace his father Lee Kun-Hee, who has been hospitalized for over two years since suffering a heart attack while at the helm of the corporation.
This verdict, which comes just days after Samsung launched its impressive new Galaxy Note 8 flagship phone, obviously throws Lee's future at the company into question.
— Jean H. Lee (@newsjean) August 25, 2017
The executive was arrested in February when he was accused of paying bribes to an advisor of former President Park Geun-hye in exchange for political favors.
The New York Times reported that he is alleged to have given a total of $36 million to Park’s secret advisor in order to win government support for a merger between two Samsung subsidiaries. Park, Korea’s first female leader, was impeached and removed from office due to the influence of her aides.