Samsung Electronics' ailing chairman, Lee Kun-hee, was yesterday named by South Korean police as a suspect in an 8.2 billion won ($7.5 million) tax evasion case that involved the use of bank accounts held by employees.
A series of scandals have dogged the family of Samsung, the country's biggest business empire.
The chairman's son Jay Y. Lee, heir to the Samsung Group, was released from detention earlier this week after an appeals court halved his sentence for bribery and corruption to 2-1/2 years and suspended it for four years.
Following a heart attack in 2014, the elder Lee, 76, has remained hospitalized in Seoul's Samsung Medical Centre and is difficult to commuicate with having shown little sign of recovery. Until his imprisonment Jay Y. Lee had been regarded as the de facto head of the group.
Police said elder Lee could not be questioned due to his physical condition and Samsung declined comment.
"Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee and a Samsung executive managed funds in 260 bank accounts under names of 72 executives, suspected of evading taxes worth 8.2 billion won," Korean National Police Agency said in a statement, planning to send the case to prosecutors.