back to article Samsung boss Lee Jae-yong awarded Get Out Of Jail Free card

Samsung Electronics boss Lee Jae-yong will be released from prison on parole this Friday. Lee was sent down for 30 months in January 2021 on charges of bribery, concealment of criminal proceeds, and embezzlement. He’s also facing accusations of drug abuse and has previously done time for corruption. South Korean authorities …

  1. ShadowSystems Silver badge

    One rule for the peons...

    A different rule for the filthy fucking rich.


    <Sarcasm>It's so comforting to know that the rot of corruption, bribery, & influence peddling has reached global proportions. It means the planet won't leave so much as a celestial smear when the Vogons come around to destroy us in favor of that galactic bypass.</Sarcasm>

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bribed or Extorted

    "These bribes took the form of monetary payments to nonprofits and business entities controlled by Choi, as well as the gift of thoroughbred horses to be used by Choi's horse-riding daughter, Chung Yoo-Ra. In exchange, Lee received government sign-off on deals that would allow him to cement control of Samsung."

    Q1. Was the sign off legitimate? I don't see anyone rolling back Lee Jae-Yong control of Samsung, like that decision was legitimate, and should have been made anyway.

    Q2. If Lee hadn't made those bribes would that corrupt President have blocked that decision or worse force it to someone else who would pay the bribes? i.e. it is more extortion or bribery?

    If faced with a "you gotta do me a favor though", President, I can believe yong would have little choice, as did many politicians did, and many government departments did, and so many foreign governments did "favors though", ....many many many foreign governments.

    You would only find out about the corruption when one refuses to do the bribe.

    In such a situation, what would Lee do? Demand impeachment? Rely on the independence of the DOJ ? Got to 'Fox News Asia' and expose the scandal of a corrupt president? You could *not* rely on institutions, that had already decided power trumped democracy and rule of law, and had already sold out their country.

    Or would he do the deal? Pump money into family businesses of the corrupt president, give those gifts, promote those foreign intelligence propaganda pieces he demanded, bribe the 'horse-riding daughter' with gifts, and suck it up, like others had done.

    1. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: Bribed or Extorted

      "Q2. If Lee hadn't made those bribes would that corrupt President have blocked that decision or worse force it to someone else who would pay the bribes? i.e. it is more extortion or bribery?"

      It was extortion, and Samsung was far from the only company involved. There's some interesting writing about the matter here - - for some reason most of the media decided to portray it as just a bit of ordinary corruption here and there, but the real story is seriously bizarre.

      The main problem Samsung had is that where the other companies being extorted tended to be somewhat reluctant about the whole thing, Samsung apparently saw it as a great opportunity to get on the good side of important people and jumped right into it with both feet. So while it all technically came down to extortion by Choi and her lackeys, Lee Jae-Yong was more of a willing participant rather than just a passive extortee.

      On a slightly different note, I always get a bit confused about the idea of getting time off for good behaviour. On the one hand, if you take a violent thug who is prison for beating people up, giving them a chance to change their ways and not get into fights while in prison kind of makes sense. But with someone like Lee, what exactly is he supposed to have changed? He didn't pay bribes to the president's psychic while in jail, so he gets out earlier? Exactly what kind of bad behaviour could he have been involved with that would result in him not being let out early?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would make a good Tory....

    Just sayin'.....

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "the nation feels Samsung needs his leadership"

    Hello Mister Crook, could you please go back to the very environment that you abused and got condemned for ? We've apparently got nothing better at this time.

    Yes, please do help yourself to a cigar . . or the box.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward interests...

    He appears to have friends all round the world. According to this article on the same story:

    '...the American Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to current South Korean President Moon Jae-In earlier this May expressing that “We believe a pardon of the most important executive of Samsung is in the best interest of both the US and Korea.” The letter’s receipt coincided with a Washington-based summit between Moon and President Biden that took place later that week.'

    It also notes that Samsung is investing heavily in building chip fabs in the US, in line with Biden's announcement of $50Bn investment in the semiconductor industry.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: interests...

      Such precedents are always worrisome for those who believe they are above the law. Getting out of jail quickly when caught is extremely important.

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    If Samsung is currently so dependent on the continued availability of one man it's time they looked into succession planning.

  7. First Light Silver badge


    I watch too much K-drama on Netflix. However, now I understand why the stories are all about corruption at every level from the local plod to the highest judge.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: K-drama

      What? You mean "Doctor Prisoner" isn't a gentle comedy about a mild-mannered GP taking up a job in a correctional facility, and thence finding a small part in a range of amusing japes and humorously complicated misunderstandings? :-)

  8. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

    > his conviction means he can’t be employed for five years.

    How is that supposed to work?

    1. Kibble 2

      How is that supposed to work?

      IANAL, but possibly hired as an independent marketing consultant as I assume the law specifies that he cannot be employed in his original position.

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