By Eun-Young Jeong and Timothy W. Martin
SEOUL—South Korean prosecutors provided their most detailed account yet of bribery charges against Samsung’s de facto leader Lee Jae-yong, following a monthslong investigation into a corruption scandal that has shaken the country’s corporate and political elite.
In a 99-page report Monday outlining the investigation results, special prosecutor Park Young-soo alleged that Lee and four other Samsung 005930, +0.00% group executives asked for a broader series of favors from President Park Geun-hye and her confidante than previously disclosed. Those actions, prosecutors said, were intended to smooth Lee’s transition to power atop Samsung, as well as secure the finances to pay an inheritance-tax bill that could total billions of dollars.
To achieve those goals, prosecutors said, Samsung engaged in a sophisticated web of corporate reshuffling, including publicly listing one Samsung affiliate. It also paid roughly $37 million to entities allegedly controlled by Choi Soon-sil, the president’s friend, in exchange for government backing of a contentious 2015 merger between two Samsung affiliates.