Advertisement

Samsung chairman named as suspect in $7.5 million tax evasion case

From Reuters - February 7, 2018

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) ailing chairman, Lee Kun-hee, was named by South Korean police on Thursday as a suspect in an 8.2 billion won ($7.5 million) tax evasion case that involved the use of bank accounts held by employees.

A series of scandals have dogged the family of Samsung, the countrys biggest business empire.

The chairmans son Jay Y. Lee, heir to the Samsung Group, was released from detention earlier this week after an appeals court halved his sentence for bribery and corruption to 2-1/2 years and suspended it for four years.

Following a heart attack in 2014, the elder Lee, 76, has remained hospitalized in Seouls Samsung Medical Centre and is difficult to communicate with having shown little sign of recovery. Until his imprisonment Jay Y. Lee had been regarded as the de facto head of the group.

Police said elder Lee could not be questioned due to his physical condition and Samsung declined comment.

Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee and a Samsung executive managed funds in 260 bank accounts under names of 72 executives, suspected of evading taxes worth 8.2 billion won, Korean National Police Agency said in a statement, planning to send the case to prosecutors.

Police added that the accounts, holding some 400 billion won, were found in the course of their probe into alleged improper payments for the renovation of Lees family residence.

The investigation into tax evasion harks back to the late payment of 130 billion won in tax in 2011, though only 8.2 billion of that sum falls within the statute of limitations, according to police.

The graft case that led to the younger Lees arrest last year and brought down the former president Park Geun-hye prompted Samsung to vow to improve transparency in corporate governance and grant heads of the groups affiliates more autonomy from the Lee family.

Advertisement

Continue reading at Reuters »