Finance | August 25, 2017 12:57 pm

Samsung Heir Found Guilty of Corruption in Landmark Trial

Lee Jae-yong sentenced to five years for bribery, embezzlement.

Heir to Samsung Fortune Found Guilty of Bribery, Embezzlement
Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., leave after his verdict trial at the Seoul Central District Court on August 25, 2017 in Seoul, South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

South Korea just got a whole lot tougher on financial criminals.

According to The New York Times, in what is somewhat of a landmark ruling, Lee Jae-yong, the heir to the Samsung electronics empire in South Korea, was convicted on bribery and embezzlement charges and sentenced to five years in jail.

Lee, along with four other Samsung executives, were found guilty of paying out $6.4 million in bribes in order that the former South Korean president support and solidify Lee’s control of the electronics giant. Bribes included a $3.2 million deposit to a fake company and horses for one of the politicians’ daughters.

As the Times notes, the South Korean court system has traditionally been much more lenient on the country’s business world, which has become rife with corruption and scandal, so this verdict sends a clear warning shot across the financial sector’s bow.

The judge presiding over the case was quoted as saying: “The essence of this case is the unethical bond between politics and money…. The people expect that the power of a president, the top authority under the Constitution, will be used to serve all people and that big businesses act with social responsibility, through legal economic activities.”