Samsung is getting pulled into the South Korean scandal that has already seen the country's president impeached, as authorities seek a formal arrest warrant for the de facto boss of the giant conglomerate.
Samsung is suspected of giving 43 billion won ($36 million) to Choi Soon-sil -- a friend of impeached president Park Geun-hye -- while seeking government help with a leadership succession within Samsung. Lee is also accused of embezzling part of the money intended for Choi.
The BBC is reporting that Lee has denied the charges.
The vice chairman has been leading the Samsung conglomerate since his father, chairman Lee Kun-hee, was hospitalized in 2014 after a heart attack.
Samsung is the largest company in South Korea and one of the largest consumer electronics providers in the world. IDC reports that it is still the number one smartphone provider in the world as of the third quarter of 2016, despite the recall issues around the Note 7 last year. (See Samsung's NoteGate: Winners & Losers.)
Samsung is also one of the leading vendors in the 5G field. The vendor is carrying out 5G tests with operators in the US as well as its home market. (See Samsung, SKT Take Step Closer to 'Real' 5G.)
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading