Head Of Samsung Gets Away With Serious Crime?

The head of Samsung is reportedly being pardoned for serious criminal charges that he incurred back in 2017.

By Kristi Eckert | Published

Why Shipping Packages Will Soon Cost Incredibly More Money

samsung shoplifter hertz shoplifting

Sometimes it seems that big corporate moguls are immune to being punished for things that would land a normal citizen in some serious legal trouble. For the head of Samsung, that thought may prove to be absolutely true. The Wall Street Journal reported that the leader of Samsung, Lee Jae-yong, will be pardoned from a criminal conviction that he incurred back in 2017. 

Lee Jae-yong, known as Jay Y. Lee in the west, was accused of bribing South Korea’s former president twice. It was a criminal conviction that landed him in jail. He was released on parole a year ago and has continued to quietly head up Samsung. Lee, who is the grandson of the founder, needs to approve of everything that Samsung does before it is released. 

Lee has remained steadfast in maintaining that he was wrongly convicted. However, the Samsung head has expressed his gratitude for being given a second chance. “I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to make a new start. I will work hard to fulfill my responsibility as an entrepreneur,” said Lee following the news that he would receive a pardon for his purported bribery charges. 

Although, it is worth noting that even though Samsung’s leader is getting pardoned for two counts of bribery, he’s not entirely off the hook. Lee still is still facing legal repercussions for accounting fraud charges. If convicted, Lee could wind right back up in jail. 

It is not entirely clear why South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol has chosen to give Lee a new lease on life. There is speculation, however, that it could be because his approval rating country-wide has taken a serious nosedive recently. Polls suggest that many South Koreans favored the pardon of Samsung’s leader. So, in doing, so South Korea’s President could be looking to win some brownie points back in the eyes of his nationals. 

Samsung leader Lee is not the only prominent business figure who will receive a pardon. Lee, along with 1,600 prominent South Korean business figures will have their criminal records expunged. The mass pardoning will take place on August 15, 2022. The day is known as Liberation Day in South Korea. It’s a holiday that commemorates the day the country was freed from Japanese colonial rule. 

Moreover, Even though Lee has been signing off on all of Samsung’s major decisions and is still technically a part of the board, the co-founder’s grandson hasn’t held a formal position in the company for years because of his criminal convictions. Now that he is getting pardoned it is unclear whether the company will move to give him back more responsibilities.

However, according to the Wall Street Journal, it’s doubtful that Samsung would take steps to swiftly do that. That being said, it is likely that Lee will begin to take a more visible and active role in the company now that he can. “He’ll feel the need to begin and show results quickly, but the company’s long-term trajectory is what should matter most,” said Troy Stangarone, senior director at the Korea Economic Institute of America. Still, regardless, of the status and actions Lee will take subsequent to his pardon, Samsung will surely be just fine.