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Ex-Samsung chairman convicted of tax evasion

Although a three-year prison sentence is suspended, South Korean court rules that Lee Kun-hee must pay a hefty fine, according to an Associated Press report.

A South Korean court on Wednesday found former Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee guilty of tax evasion and sentenced the former executive to a three-year jail sentence, according to an Associated Press report.


But Lee will not be going to jail at this point, since his prison sentence was suspended for five years. Prosecutors had been seeking a seven-year prison sentence.

Lee, however, will have to pay a fine of 110 billion won, or $109 million, as restitution for the tax evasion conviction. Prosecutors had been seeking substantially more--a fine of 350 billion won, or $347 million. Lee is the richest man in Korea, according to the report.

Despite the tax evasion conviction, Lee was cleared of the more serious charges of breach of trust, in which he was alleged to have overseen an illegal issuance of bonds that aimed to transfer control of the conglomerate to his son, Lee Jae-yong, according to the report.

Last April, Lee stepped down as chairman after he was indicted on charges of hiding stock accounts under his aides' names in order to evade taxes.