Prosecutors drop charges against Samsung chairman

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Prosecutors drop charges against Samsung chairman

Prosecutors dropped tax evasion and embezzlement charges against Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee on Thursday.

The decision was based on the judgment that further investigation into the case was impossible due to Lee’s health issues. The investigation may resume if Lee recovers, but the possibility is slim. Lee has been hospitalized for more than four years now since a fall in May 2014.

Lee was accused of avoiding taxes worth 8.5 billion won ($7.6 million) that involved multiple bank accounts under the names of Samsung executives. More than 1,700 accounts were found to have been used for this purpose since 2008, when the investigation started.

Another charge against the chairman was the embezzlement of 3.3 billion won from Samsung C&T, which was used to pay for the interior renovation of Lee’s private home.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, however, did decide to indict four Samsung executives who played a role in the two cases - one for the tax evasion scheme and three for the embezzlement case.

By Song Kyoung-son
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