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 Courageous: Samsung's history tainted by run-ins with the law

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PostSubject: Courageous: Samsung's history tainted by run-ins with the law   Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:39 pm

Starting off as a humble grocery store 79 years ago, South Korean giant Samsung has a checkered history, with its founder, his son and grandson all having run-ins with the law.

The sprawling conglomerate now so dominates South Korea that citizens joke they live in the "Republic of Samsung". But three generations of the Lee family have faced charges including tax evasion and bribing government officials.

The heir to the business, Lee Jae-Yong, was arrested Friday as part of a probe into corruption and influence-peddling that caused President Park Geun-Hye to be impeached, in a body blow to the firm's reputation.

The Samsung Electronics vice chairman is accused of paying nearly $40 million in bribes to Park's secret confidante to secure policy favours.

Both his father and grandfather were also linked to tax evasion but were never physically detained, creating a widespread perception that the family operates above the rule of law.

Samsung -- which means "three stars" in Korean -- started out as a grocery store in the southeastern city of Daegu in 1938 when Lee Byung-Chull moved away from his large landowning family in nearby southern Uiryeong county.
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