Billionaire Jay Y Lee, Samsung’s current vice chairman who was behind bars on a couple of occasions, has been pardoned for his crimes by South Korea’s president. The step was taken in order to boost the country’s economy. Samsung’s stock price saw a rise of 1% on the announcement of this news. 

Jay Y Lee is currently out on parole, in the middle of serving a sentence of two-and-a-half years. The pardon is set to be formalized on August 15. Charges against him included embezzlement as well as bribery. When his parole announcement was made, it was revealed that a total of 810 prisoners were being paroled to mark the occasion of South Korea’s Liberation Day.

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Post the granting of his pardon, Lee said that he would put in more effort towards “fulfill[ing] my duties as an entrepreneur”. He also said, “I will contribute to the economy through continuous investment and job creation for young people, and repay the expectations of the people and the government’s consideration.”

Lee was initially arrested in 2017 after it came to light that he had bribed South Korea’s former president,  Park Geun-hye, and was sentenced to a prison term of five years. His next arrest came in 2021. However, after an appeals court heard his case, the Samsung VP was released after serving only a year. Financial Times, in the same year, reported that many US companies had lobbied for his pardon to the South Korean president.

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Lee has found himself on the other side of the law on other occasions as well. He was fined a sum of 70 million won in 2021 for possessing an illegal drug. He was also among those who were named in the Pandora Paper Leak. Lee is the son of former Samsung chairman, Lee kun-Hee, who passed away in 2020.