Samsung boss Lee Jae-Yong convicted and fined for drug abuse

Took Propofol, aka ‘the milk of amnesia’ or 'the drug that killed Michael Jackson'


Samsung boss Lee Jae-Yong has been convicted of drug abuse and fined 70 million won (US$60K).

Lee is the CEO of Samsung Electronics – the largest member of the Samsung group – and is expected to become company chair in the future. He was accused of taking Propofol, an anaesthetic, at a plastic surgery clinic. Lee was alleged to have visited the clinic 41 times between between 2015 and 2020 – rather more visits than needed for touch-ups.

Propofol is a legitimate anaesthetic but is sometimes abused in pursuit of certain erotic experiences, or as a sedative for those who struggle to sleep.

Lee was apologetic at court hearings earlier this month. Today South Korean newswire Yonhap reports that Lee has been sentenced by the Seoul Central District Court, scolded for not setting a better example given his exalted position, and told to do better in future.

He was handed a 70 million won ($60K) fine, which is back-of-the-couch money for Lee given his personal fortune is widely estimated in the neighbourhood of $10 billion. The sentence is considered light, because Lee 'fessed up and had no prior drug convictions.

He does, however, have form. In January 2021 Lee was convicted and jailed on charges of bribing former South Korean president Park Geun-hye, concealment of criminal proceeds, and embezzlement. He's also previously been convicted inside for corruption.

However, in August 2021 he was paroled just seven months into a 30-month sentence, because South Korea's government felt its COVID-kicked economy needed his leadership skills.

May every nation in which people read The Register be blessed with such leadership. ®

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