Ordinary families might stash spare cash under a mattress or in a safety deposit box. South Korea’s Lee family are so rich they spent years leaving billions of dollars under the names of their employees.
This strategy is back in the spotlight after first being exposed in an investigation by prosecutors that led to the 2009 conviction of Samsung Electronics Co. Chairman Lee Kun-hee. He was found guilty of evading taxes through borrowed names and handed a suspended prison sentence. He was pardoned at the end of 2009 to help the country win its bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.
A South Korean civic group filed a case against Lee last month, claiming he illegitimately acquired the wealth from his late father, Samsung founder Lee Byung-chull. They accused Lee of failing to pay taxes for the inheritance that was passed down through accounts using other people’s names.
The accusation comes several months