This content is not available in your region

Samsung leader Jay Y. Lee's legal troubles

Samsung leader Jay Y. Lee's legal troubles
Samsung leader Jay Y. Lee's legal troubles   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021
By Reuters

SEOUL – Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee, convicted of bribery and embezzlement, has qualified for parole.

But he has two other trials to face – one in which he is accused of accounting fraud and stock price manipulation and another in which he is accused of unlawfully using a sedative.

The following is a timeline of Lee’s legal woes.


Oct. 24: Allegations of wrongdoing by former President Park Geun-hye involving a personal confidant, Choi Seo-won, better known by her former name Choi Soon-sil, is reported by a local cable channel.

Nov. 13: South Korean prosecutors question Jay Y. Lee in a probe over the growing political scandal involving Park.

Dec. 21: A team led by a special prosecutor launches a formal criminal investigation.


Feb. 17: Lee is arrested, accused of paying bribes to organisations controlled by Choi to secure support for a merger of two Samsung affiliates that was widely seen as designed to cement his control of the Samsung conglomerate.

Feb. 28: Samsung Group dismantles its corporate strategy office amid accusations that Lee worked with the office to bribe Park via Choi.

Feb. 28: South Korean prosecutors indict 17 people including Lee over the scandal.

Aug. 25: The Seoul Central District Court sentences Lee to five years in prison for bribery, hiding assets abroad and embezzlement.


Feb. 5: Lee is released from jail after an appeals court cut his sentence to two and a half years and suspended the sentence for four years. Lee’s attorney says he will appeal to the Supreme Court to try to overturn the conviction.


Aug. 29: South Korea’s Supreme Court sends Lee’s case back to the appellate Seoul High Court for review, saying its interpretation of what constituted bribes was too narrow.


Jan. 9: Samsung Group sets up an anti-corruption panel headed by a former supreme court judge to improve compliance and prevent violation of governance rules.

May 6: Lee makes a public apology over controversies in succession plans at Samsung and says he will not hand over management rights to his children.

Sept. 1: Prosecutors indict Lee and 10 others, accusing them of accounting fraud and stock price manipulation in connection with a 2015 $8 billion merger of two Samsung affiliates.


Jan. 18: The Seoul High Court sentences Lee to two and a half years and he returns to prison.

March 19: Lee receives emergency surgery for a burst appendix and is hospitalised until April 15 when he returns to prison.

March 26: A South Korean independent panel recommends prosecutors stop probing Lee over an allegation of unlawful use of a sedative.

April 22: Trial in which he is accused of accounting fraud and stock price manipulation begins.

June 4: Prosecutors seek a 50 million won ($43,670) fine for Lee over the alleged unlawful use of the sedative.

June 29: A court orders Lee stand trial for the sedative use.

Aug. 9: Parole for Lee is approved.

Aug. 19: Trial over his sedative use is scheduled to begin.

($1 = 1,144.9300 won)