It has been a rough handful of months for Samsung, and it looks like things aren't getting any better. The South Korean technology giant is now being tied to the massive corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of the country's President, Park Geun-hye.
Park Young-soo, a special prosecutor heading up the investigation into the corruption scandal, is seeking an arrest warrant for Jay Y. Lee, Samsung Group vice-chairman and only son to the company's incapacitated chairman, Lee Kun-hee. He stands accused of instructing Samsung subsidiaries to make large donations to an associate of Ms. Park, Choi Soon-sil, and two foundations Ms. Choi controls. Mr. Park contends the donations amount to bribery and were made in exchange for political favors from Ms. Park.
According to Mr. Park, Mr. Lee instructed the donations made in an attempt to solicit a favorable response to a 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates. Moon Hyung-pyo, who was the acting health and welfare minister at the time of the merger, has already been indicted for his role in helping to steamroll the merger through.
This isn't Samsung's first brush with bribery and corruption accusations, but if the warrant is issued, this could mark the first time Mr. Lee or his father actually end up in jail. This, of course, would be a huge blemish on the already troubled company, one sure to cause shareholders to raise an eyebrow or two.