Samsung Group’s leader, Jay Y. Lee, is out of jail on parole today. Lee was serving a 30-month sentence for his role in “Choi-gate,” a major 2016 South Korean political scandal that brought down South Korean then-President Park Geun-hye.
In 2017, Lee was originally sentenced to five years in jail after being found guilty of bribery, embezzlement, capital flight, and perjury charges. An appeal and re-trial cut Lee’s five-year prison sentence down to 30 months after suspending the charges for bribery and embezzlement. Lee served 18 months of that sentence, and now he’s out on parole.
Choi-gate is an incredible rabbit hole you can dive into at the above Wikipedia link, but the basics are that it is named for Choi Soon-Sil, a shamanistic cult member and a woman often called “Korean Rasputin,” due to her influence over South Korea’s then-President. Lee was accused of bribing Choi to get a favorable ruling from Park related to a 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates, Samsung C&T Corp (that’s “Construction & Trading”) and Cheil Industries, a Korean textile firm.