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Legal Ethics

Ex-Legal Chief Claims Samsung Had Bribe Fund for Prosecutors

Posted Nov 7, 2007 1:45 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The former chief lawyer for Samsung Group has filed a legal complaint with South Korean prosecutors that alleges a bribery scheme and cover-up by chairman Lee Kun Hee.

Kim Yong Chul, who worked for Samsung for seven years, claims the company kept a secret slush fund to bribe prosecutors and government officials, Business Week reports.

The lawyer also alleges in his complaint that Lee ordered transactions to help his son acquire Samsung shares at low prices, the New York Times reports. The complaint claims the legal division trained other executives to serve as scapegoats after prosecutors began investigating the stock buys.

Kim has told journalists that he was sidelined by the company in 2004 after he refused to bribe a judge presiding over the case of the scapegoated executives, who were later found guilty.

Samsung has denied the allegations.

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