Shin Kyuk-ho, the founder of Lotte, was sentenced to four years in prison, while his elder son Shin Dong-joo was acquitted.
Lee is now on probation for four years.
Lee isn’t the only prominent executive to benefit from leniency in the courthouse: In December, a judge gave Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin a suspended 20-month sentence after a corruption conviction even though prosecutors had asked for 10 years in prison. He said he felt sorry for not showing his best side and used the time locked up to reflect on himself. “And it has been a really precious time for a year reflecting on myself”, he told reporters.
However, Judge Cheong Hyung-sik on Monday said Lee’s involvement in Samsung’s financial support for Choi was a “passive compliance to political power”.
The court said it was impossible to prove that Lee and Park had hatched the deal for which Lee was alleged to have paid a $1.6 million bribe to the president’s confidante.
Samsung reported record profit last week disclosing numbers that it’s chip business pulls in more revenue than the intel corp. Samsung has gone out …
Lee’s ailing father – Lee Kun-hee – played a key role in South Korea’s bid for the winter games in 2011 as a member of the International Olympic Committee.
Lee was not the only one from Samsung who was accused and found guilty.
He became the vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics, a company renowned for making gadgets from smartphones and televisions to cameras and hard drives, in 2013.
According to media reports, Lee could still return to lead Samsung Group after his father was left bedridden after suffering a heart attack in 2014. It also suspended the charges against Lee for bribery and embezzlement, which allows Lee to walk free. Her confidante Choi Soon-sil, the recipient of the horse, has also denied charges. Lee has not responded to the verdict. Months later, South Korean president Lee Myung-bak pardoned Lee so he could remain on the International Olympic Committee. She was indicted on multiple charges, including bribery, a month after she was sacked as president by the top court in March. Prosecutors originally sought a dozen years for Lee, arguing that would help establish the rule of law in a country re-examining ties between government and business.
More broadly, in Korea, Lee’s trial marked somewhat of a litmus test for how the country’s family-founded conglomerates would fare under new president Moon Jae-in.