Samsung vice chairman and the company’s heir apparent Jay Y. Lee has left prison after a South Korean high court suspended his bribery sentence.
Lee, whose father is Samsung’s chairman, was previously sentenced to five years after being found guilty of bribery, embezzlement, capital flight and perjury charges. His sentence was reduced to 2.5 years today on appeal, and he was allowed to leave on a four-year probation, according to Bloomberg.
Lee was first arrested last February and he had served close to one year in custody. His absence hasn’t impacted Samsung’s business, which has posted a series of record financial returns over the past year. That included an all-time-high $69 billion in revenue for its chipset division in 2017, which toppled Intel for the first time in 25 years as the planet’s biggest-selling chip firm.
The executive was arrested on accusations of paying bribes to an advisor of former President Park Geun-hye in exchange for political favors aimed at cementing his position within Samsung Electronics.
According to the New York Times, he is said 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.
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