Samsung heir Jay Lee arrested following bribery allegations

Samsung heir Jay Lee arrested following bribery allegations

Jae Y. Lee, vice chairman of the Samsung Group, is in police custody today following a lengthy corruption investigation. He’s currently awaiting trial at a detention center in Seoul.

Prosecutors accused Lee of having monetary ties to Park Geun-hye, President of South Korea. As we reported in January, Lee is believed to have paid Choi Soon-sil, a confidant of Park’s, $36 million in exchange for government support of his succession. Prosecutors originally called for a warrant at the time, but the court rejected it based on a lack of evidence.

Bloomberg reports that Samsung and Lee have denied the allegations, though Lee admitted Samsung provided a horse worth more than $800,000 to Choi’s daughter. At the time, South Korea’s public National Pension Service cast an approving vote in a Samsung merger that made Lee the company’s largest shareholder.

A court spokesperson told Bloomberg that arresting the suspect was “appropriate” given the chance that he could destroy evidence or flee. Prosecutors also requested a warrant for Samsung Electronics president Park Sang-Jin, but the courts denied it.

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