Samsung Heir Questioned In Succession-Related Probe.

Samsung Heir Questioned In Succession-Related Probe

The prosecutors' office confirmed Jay Y Lee was summoned for questioning.


Samsung Group heir Jay Y Lee was questioned on Tuesday by prosecutors about a controversial 2015 merger and alleged accounting fraud that they said may have helped him advance his succession-planning agenda at the country's top conglomerate.

The questioning brings fresh legal trouble for Lee who is already facing court trial over a charge of bribery aimed at winning support to succeed ailing group patriarch Lee Kun-hee, and which involved former South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

Prosecutors have been investigating suspected accounting fraud at drug company Samsung Biologics after the Korean financial watchdog complained the firm's value had been inflated by 4.5 trillion won ($3.64 billion) in 2015.

They have alleged that Biologics had violated accounting rules to help improve the value of its major owner Cheil Industries, which counted Lee as its top shareholder, Yonhap News Agency, which first reported Lee's questioning, said.

Cheil, Samsung Group's fashion and theme-park operator, merged with de fact group holding company Samsung C&T in a 2015 transaction that enabled Lee to become the top shareholder of Samsung C&T.

The deal was criticised by U.S. hedge fund Elliott Management and other investors for favouring family members at the expense of minority shareholders.

The prosecutors' office confirmed Lee was summoned for questioning.

"We today summoned a relevant person with regard to Samsung Group's illegal merger and accounting fraud case," an official at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' office told Reuters.

A spokesman at Samsung Electronics, the conglomerate's biggest company where Lee is vice chairman, declined to comment.

Lee, 51, served a one-year detention over the bribery case until it was suspended in 2018, but the possibility of a tougher sentence has emerged after the Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling on the case last year.

Earlier this month Lee apologised for the bribery scandal and pledged that he would not pass on the company founded by his grandfather to his children. But it has been criticised by governance experts for lacking details.

"There are still a lot of controversies related to his management succession. He will not be able to avoid public criticism," said Park Ju-gun, head of research firm CEO Score.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


Related news

«Not Interested In Talking To China» About Phase 2 Deal: Donald Trump.

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday shut the door on "Phase 2" trade negotiations with China, saying he does not want to talk to Beijing about trade because of the coronavirus pandemic.

«Welcome News That UK Plans To Ban Huawei From 5G Networks» : Mike Pompeo.

The United States hailed Britain's decision Tuesday to order the phased removal of China's Huawei telecoms giant from its 5G network, following months of pressure from Washington.

Donald Trump Ends Hong Kong Trade Preferences, Backs Banking Sanctions.

US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he was ending trade preferences for Hong Kong and signed into law an act that authorizes sanctions on banks over China's clampdown in the city.

Thousands protest in Israel, call for Netanyahu to resign.

Netanyahu has seen his popularity drop in recent weeks as he comes under criticism from a series of directions.

Britain Bans China's Huawei From 5G, Handing US Big Win.

Britain on Tuesday bowed to growing US pressure and ordered the phased removal of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei from its 5G network despite warnings of retaliation from Beijing.

By continuing to browse World News (UAZMI), you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and agree to the use of cookies