The vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co and de facto head of the company Lee Jae-yong was convicted for bribing the president of South Korea Park Geun-hye and sent to prison for five years, The Wall Street Journal reports.
He was also found guilty of embezzlement, hiding assets abroad, concealing criminal profits and perjury.
Lee Jae-yong denied all the charges. He testified earlier this month that as vice chairman of Samsung Electronics he was rarely involved in decisions affecting the broader Samsung empire.
Prosecutors sought 12 years behind bars.
Lee Jae-yong’s lawyers said they planned to appeal the decision immediately.
Samsung had acknowledged it agreed to pay about $38 million to entities linked to the president’s close friend Choi Soon-sil but denied the payments were in return for favors for the company.
However, according to prosecutors the company’s management was seeking to ensure government backing for several deals, including a controversial merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015.