Special prosecutors are in the course of investigating Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung, on suspicions of bribery. Lee reports in Thursday morning for questioning. The scandal involving Samsung’s third generation heir hasn’t reached the end of the rabbit hole just yet.
The accusation of corruption that Samsung is under investigation for resulted in the impeachment of South Korea’s president, Park Geun-hye. The special prosecutors also wanted Lee reported for lying under oath.
The special prosecutors team came about after there has been accusations of corruption involving many of South Korea’s large businesses and President Park Geun-hye. The main goal of the prosecution is to find out if businesses such as Samsung and Hyundai donated millions to foundations in exchange for financial favors. The foundations were run by Choi Soon-sil who appeared to have significant control of most government affairs.
While many of the other businesses did not deny any of the accusations, but expressed their obligation to donate to Choi’s foundations, Samsung does not get off so easily. Prosecutors want to know if the National Pension Service, one of the country’s largest shareholders, supported the $8 billion joining of Samsung affiliated businesses for donations to Choi.
Even though Samsung has yet to comment on the accusations, they are at the top of the list for investigation. With donations of an estimated 20.4 billion won ($17 million) they are one of the two companies who donated the most money to Ms. Choi’s foundations.
Ms. Choi, however, denies doing anything wrong. She currently remains in custody in Denmark. Choi’s daughter, Chung Yoo-ra, is co-owner of a few foundations that received donations from Samsung and other conglomerates. When questioned, Chung reported she was unaware of her mother’s actions.
The special prosecutors seem to find this slightly questionable. Back in 2015, Samsung closed a deal that allowed a merger between themselves and Core Sports. Core Sports later changed its name to Widec Sports and accepted $18 million from Samsung. They would use the money to train equestrian athletes for the upcoming Asian Games in 2018. Ms. Choi’s daughter is also an athlete registered with the company.
When questioned Lee Jae-yong admitted to buying Choi’s daughter a horse for 1 billion won. He also invested 3.7 billion won ($3.1 million) into the company. Lee did say, however, that at the time he wasn’t aware of who Choi or her daughter were.