South Korea pardons Jay Y Lee of Samsung in an effort to boost the economy



South Korea pardons Jay Y Lee of Samsung in an effort to boost the economy

A five-year restriction on Lee maintaining a formal position at Samsung has been lifted thanks to the special pardon for the billionaire, who was twice sentenced to prison but has been out on parole since last year. On hearing the news, the company’s shares increased by 1% in Seoul.

Following the granting of his pardon, Lee declared, “I will work harder and carry out my responsibilities as an entrepreneur.” Through ongoing investment and the development of jobs for young people, I will support the economy and live up to the hopes of the public and the government.

Since his father’s heart attack-related coma in 2014, Lee has been acting as Samsung’s de facto chairman. The elder Lee passed away in 2020.

For embezzlement and bribery, Lee, also known as Jay Y. Lee, was given a five-year jail term in August 2017. However, after less than a year, in 2018, an appeals court delayed the sentence and dismissed part of the allegations.

Lee was nonetheless sent to jail in January 2021 after the Seoul High Court judged him guilty of embezzlement and corruption and sentenced him to two and a half years without a suspension. On August 1, 2017, on Liberation Day, he was granted parole.

Shin Dong-bin, the chairman of Lotte Group, and two other businessmen were also a part of the group President Yoon Suk Yeol pardoned or restored, in addition to Lee.

“To overcome the economic crisis by rejuvenating the economy, Samsung’s Vice Chairman Lee Jae-Yong, whose term has recently expired, will be restored,” said South Korea’s Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon on Friday.

Despite a shaky economic climate made worse by ongoing supply chain problems and the conflict in Ukraine, Samsung has announced some audacious investment plans for this year. The South Korean conglomerate said in May that over the next five years, it would invest more than $350 billion in its companies and add tens of thousands of new jobs.

South Korea pardons Jay Y Lee of Samsung in an effort to boost the economy


Lee has no constraints on his employment

Lee may now work without limitations, thanks to the pardon. According to South Korean legislation, even after serving a jail sentence, a person who is found guilty of embezzlement or breach of trust amounting to more than 500 million Korean won ($384,101) is prohibited from working for a corporation connected to the crime for five years.

The employment limitations on Lee will be lifted upon reinstatement. His legal issues, though, could still be ongoing.

He will stand trial separately for the contentious 2015 merger that gave him more power over the business. Indicted in 2020 on allegations including illicit transactions, stock manipulation, and perjury were eleven Samsung executives, including Lee. This matter is still open.



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