Samsung execs jailed over BioLogics fraud

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Samsung execs jailed over BioLogics fraud

A Seoul court on Monday handed jail terms of up to two years to Samsung Electronics executives for destroying evidence in relation to an alleged accounting fraud at Samsung BioLogics.

A Samsung Electronics vice president overseeing the company’s funds was sentenced to two years in prison, while two presidents in a Samsung Electronics task force were each sentenced to one year and six months in prison, according to the ruling from the Seoul Central District Court.

Prosecutors had earlier demanded jail terms of up to four years for the indicted executives, saying, “Executives at Samsung, which is known as a leading global company, committed a massive crime that inflicted irrevocable wounds on our society. ... Despite having committed a severe crime ... they continue to make up excuses, relying on the power of the big corporation behind them,” in an Oct. 28 hearing.

They had demanded a four-year prison sentence for the vice president in charge of funds.

Prosecutors and financial market regulators suspect that Samsung BioLogics inflated its valuation by approximately 4.5 trillion won ($3.78 billion) in 2015 after fraudulently changing the method used to calculate the value of its stake in Samsung Bioepis, a joint venture with U.S.-based Biogen. After the accounting method changed, Samsung BioLogics swung to a profit.

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