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Samsung heir does not pass Go, does not collect $200

Court sentences Lee Jae-yong to five years in prison for bribery

By Andrew Silver

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Samsung vice-chairman Lee Jae-yong has been sentenced to five years in the clink for corruption after a six-month trial.

A Seoul court found him guilty of paying bribes in expectation of favours from disgraced former South Korean president Park Geun-hye, hiding assets abroad, embezzlement and perjury, Reuters reports.

Lee – heir apparent and de facto chief of the world's largest smartphone manufacturer – was arrested in February on suspicion of making donations to foundations controlled by a friend of Park, Choi Soon-sil, in order to get government support for the Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries 2015 merger.

Following his arrest, Lee denied the charges.

The New York Times reports that other former top executives who had advised Lee received suspended terms or prison sentences.

Samsung has had a rocky year with the infamous Note 7 recalls but, according to research from Gartner, its smartphone sales have been doing better as of late.

A Samsung spokesperson declined to comment, but Lee's lawyers told Reuters and the NY Times that he would be appealing the court's decision. ®

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