SEOUL, July 16 (UPI) -- Lee Kun-hee, former chairman of the global electronics giant Samsung, was found guilty Wednesday of tax evasion in a South Korean court.
Lee, 66, was given a suspended three-year prison sentence, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported. The court threw out more serious charges of breach of trust.
"It is difficult to say that the defendant committed breach of trust" as he transferred corporate control to his son and heir apparent, Jae-yong, Seoul Central District Court Judge Min Byeong-hoon said.
Lee, who had been chairman for 20 years, resigned his post following his indictment in April. An independent investigation found Lee had evaded paying $112 million in taxes by hiding assets between 2000-2006 and other financial dealings in the 1990s, Yonhap reported.
In an independent probe sanctioned by parliament, special prosecutor Cho Joon-woong charged Lee with evading 112.8 billion won (US$111.9 million) of taxes by hiding assets under borrowed-name stock accounts between 2000-2006 and orchestrating the controversial wealth transfer in the mid-1990s.