Feds Arrest Ex-SamSung Exec
NEWARK, N.J., July 24, 2007 -- The former director of a Samsung Corp. business unit was arrested on a criminal complaint charging him with wire fraud in connection with his embezzlement of approximately $1.5 million from the company, US Attorney Christopher J. Christie announced on Thursday.
John Y. Lee of West New York, N.J., a former director of the Korea export department at Samsung America Inc., a global trading and investment company and American subsidiary of
Samsung Corp., was arrested at his home Thursday by special agents with the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation Div. He made an initial appearance before US Magistrate Judge Esther Salas that afternoon.
Between 2002 and 2007, Lee allegedly engaged in an elaborate scheme to embezzle the money from Ridgefield, N.J.-based Samsung America, Christie said, by creating a fake company, Engelhard Supple Co. (ESC), and then submitting fake purchase orders, invoices and other documents to make it appear as though ESC was providing metal refining services to Samsung Corning Precision Glass Co. Ltd. (SCP), a joint venture between Samsung Corp. and Corning Inc.
SCP, based in Seoul, supplies LCD glass substrates to Korea's display industry. Samsung America had previously been responsible for paying for metal refining services received by SCP.
The criminal complaint said that Lee arranged his last wire transfer of over $117,000 from SAI to his ESC account in early May.
Once the scheme came to light Lee confessed in late June and early July to Samsung auditors, according to the complaint. He said he spent the money on personal expenses, including paying credit card balances and making a down payment on a townhouse in Fort Lee, N.J. He was fired from the company, which also alerted federal authorities.
The charge of wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Adam S. Lurie of the US Attorney’s Office Securities and Health Care Fraud Unit.
For more information, visit: www.usdoj.gov/usao/nj/
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