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Samsung Boss Jailed for Labor Crimes

In Seoul, South Korea, the Chairman of Samsung Electronics Co’s board has been jailed for violating South Korean union labor laws.

Lee Sang-Hoon, 64, who served as Samsung’s chief financial officer before becoming chairman, was sentenced to 18 months in jail for disrupting union activities at the company in recent years.

It comes as the latest legal challenge for the international electronics giant, with 24 former Samsung officials who were involved in the case also being found guilty on similar charges.

The case focused on efforts to dismantle the labor union at the company’s customer-service unit, by Samsung officials and Mr. Lee.

The court convicted the officials on multiple charges, including gathering personal information on union members such as their mental health histories, financial information and marital status. Samsung is available to appeal the charges.

In a statement released by Samsung Electronics on Wednesday, the company said it’s ‘understanding and view of labor unions in the past fell short of society’s expectations.’

The court’s ruling is yet another legal set back for the world’s largest smartphone maker in recent years.

The conglomerate’s de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong, who has no relation to Lee Sang-Hoon, was jailed for a year after being convicted of bribery. He was released in February 2018.

Mr. Lee’s conviction and sentence threatens to create conflict for the company’s decision making processes.

As the company’s chairman, Mr. Lee is responsible for hosting board meetings and reviewing financial statements before they are shared with shareholders to vote on.

Samsung has declined to comment.

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