Samsung Electronics Co. heir Jay Y. Lee was sentenced to 30 months in prison over bribery charges, a dramatic setback for the world’s biggest electronics company as it tries to move beyond a years-long scandal that inflamed outrage over the cozy relationships between government and business.
The Seoul High Court first jailed Lee in 2017 after convicting the billionaire for his role in a corruption scandal that toppled former South Korean president Park Geun-hye. The Samsung Group’s de facto leader served a year in prison, but was released in February 2018 after his original five-year term was cut in half and suspended. The Supreme Court overturned that verdict and ordered a retrial in 2019. Monday’s sentencing, the result of that retrial, sends the top decision maker at the country’s most valuable company back to jail at a time of rising competition and global uncertainty.