He was found guilty of concealment of criminal proceeds, bribery, and embezzlement worth around $7.8 million, and was given a 30-month jail term. The bribery scheme involved an associate of former president Park Geun-hye, who is currently serving a 20-year jail term. Her sentence was upheld by South Korea’s top court last week.
However, the sentence comes at an unfortunate time for Lee, as he will now be unable to oversee the inheritance process from his father, late Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee, who died in October. The verdict has already tanked market shares of Samsung Electronics, which fell some four percent after the ruling was announced. The company’s affiliates, including Samsung Life Insurance and Samsung C&T also had their market value badly dented.
The Samsung chief is expected to serve time in the same jail in which he was held before – Seoul Detention Centre, located on the outskirts of the country’s capital. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Lee is set to be tested for the virus and to spend three weeks in solitary confinement until the testing process is completed.