An executive of Samsung Electronics Co. will stand trial on charges of destroying evidence of alleged fraudulent accounting by its biopharmaceutical unit.
The prosecution indicted the vice president of Samsung Electronics, only identified by his surname Lee, on Thursday for ordering the destruction and concealment of evidence related to Samsung BioLogics' alleged accounting fraud.
Samsung BioLogics is alleged to have intentionally violated accounting rules to inflate the value of its subsidiary, Samsung Bioepis, ahead of BioLogics' 2016 initial public offering.
Lee, 56, faces charges of ordering the destruction of accounting data and internal documents of the biopharmaceutical unit after holding a meeting with BioLogics CEO Kim Tae-han and other officials in May.
He allegedly ordered the concealment of a computer server in the floor of a BioLogics factory. He also faces suspicions of having ordered the deletion of records from employees' laptops and mobile phones showing there had been searches for words that may refer to heir apparent Lee Jae-yong, such as JY and VIP.
The prosecution judged that Lee appeared to receive an order to destroy the accounting fraud evidence from a Samsung Electronics task force in charge of business support work for chief executives.
The prosecution is widening its probe into the possibility that Samsung BioLogics' alleged window dressing could be related to the transition of managerial power at Samsung Group.
Civic groups claimed the alleged fraud was aimed at enhancing Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong's control of Samsung Group.
Samsung BioLogics has claimed that the change of accounting methods was in line with international accounting standards.
The prosecution plans to again summon Chung Hyun-ho, president of Samsung Electronics' biz support task force and a close aide to Lee Jae-yong, to probe his suspected involvement in BioLogics' fraudulent accounting.(Yonhan)