Apr 26, 2010

Sean Hayes in NY Times on Samsung Slush Fund/Corruption Case

Sean Hayes, co-team leader of IPG, was quoted by the New York Times on a  book written by Former Samsung head attorney and Prosecutor Yong-Chul Kim on the Samsung Slush Fund Scandal.

Sean C. Hayes, an American lawyer and newspaper columnist in Seoul who has worked for the Constitutional Court and taught at a law school here, said he hopes more "brave souls" like Mr. Kim would speak out about corruption "for the benefit of a promising nation that is being choked by corrupt incompetents."

"The change will have to come from the masses," he added, "since elite power centers have a firm grasp on most government entities through implicit guarantees that evils will only be dealt with by a little slap on the wrist."
Some quotes from the article:
  •  In his book, Mr. Kim depicts Mr. lee and "vassal" executives at Samsung as bribing thieves who "lord over" the country, its government and media. He portrays prosecutors as opportunists who are ruthless to those they regard as "dead" powers, like former president, but subservient to and afraid of Samsung, which he calls the "power that never dies."
  • "I wanted to leave a record of Samsung's corruption because prosecutors' investigation turned it into historical gossip," Mr. Kim said. "I wrote this book because I was afraid that children would grow up believing that in South Korea, justice does not win, but those who win become justice."
  • Mr. Lee (Samsung President) was convicted of having evaded 46.5 billion won in taxes on profits generated from hidden money and of having helped his son buy shares of a Samsung subsidiary at an artificially low price.  He was sentenced to three years in prison, but a judge suspended the sentence, saying the crime "was not serious enough to merit an actual prison term."
  • After his conviction, Mr. Lee (Samsung President) said he was "sorry for causing trouble to the people."  In February, he received a presidential pardon, and a month later he returned to Samsung as chairman, without a board meeting to approve the appointment.
The full text of the article may be found HERE: BOOK ON SAMSUNG DIVIDES KOREA

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SeanHayes@ipglegal.com