The legal troubles of Samsung vice chairman and de facto head Lee Jae-yong seem to have no end. Over the past year, his role in a highly controversial merger between Chiel Industries and Samsung C&T has been probed in addition to alleged accounting fraud at Samsung Biologistics.
It’s alleged that the merger enabled the Lee family to cement their control over the Samsung Group. Following the probe, Lee was charged with accounting fraud and stock manipulation. The trial on these charges has begun today.
Samsung heir faces charges of fraud and manipulation
The trial proceedings began today in the Seoul Central District Court. The prosecutors and attorneys met to discuss the trial schedule and present their positions on the case. Lee was not in attendance.
The prosecutors allege that Lee was involved in the manipulation of stock prices of Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T when the companies were being merged in 2015. It’s also alleged that he approved accounting fraud at Samsung Biologistics, a subsidiary of Samsung C&T, in order to increase his control over the conglomerate.
At the hearing today, attorneys for Lee and other Samsung executives maintained that the merger between the two companies was normal management activity. They also denied charges of accounting fraud at Samsung Biologistics.
The prosecution wants the trial to proceed rapidly. They have requested the court to conduct two hearings a week, a request that the court has yet to make a decision on. The defense team have asked the court for three months to review the 190,000 pages of documents that the prosecutors have prepared. They have been granted time till January 14, 2021.