Samsung vice-chair Jay Y Lee has been sentenced to 30 months in a South Korean prison for bribery.
The heir to the electronics conglomerate was originally sentenced to five years imprisonment in 2017 for bribing South Korean president Park Geun-hye in a bid to get full control of the company.
His sentence was subsequently halved and suspended before the Supreme Court ordered a retrial in 2019.
Lee has already served one year in prison which will count toward his new sentence.
Judge Jeong Jun-yung expressed disappointment with the actions of Lee and Samsung, according to the New York Times.
“It’s deeply regrettable that Samsung, our country’s best business and a global innovative giant we are proud of, has been implicated in crimes whenever there was a new government,” he said.
With Lee back behind bars, local industry has raised concerns about how Samsung will be governed without its de-facto leader.
In a statement published by the Korea Times, local business lobby group the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) said the situation could create a power vacuum within the company.
"Lee's sentence could put Samsung and the country's economy in jeopardy given its position in contributing to the Korean economy and its global recognition,” the FKI said.
“A leadership vacuum would delay execution of business decisions, which could cause Samsung to lag behind its global peers.”
Shin Se-don, an economics professor at Sookmyung Women’s University told Bloomberg he thought the sentence would have negative flow-on effects for the country.
“Lee might be able to manage the company from the jail, but there will be some setback,” Shin said.
“The jailing of Lee will give an emotional shock to the people. Samsung is a backbone of our economy and people will be upset about the result.”
Despite officially being vice-chair of Samsung, Lee has been the de-facto leader of Samsung since his father Lee Kun-hee suffered a heart attack in 2014.
Lee Kun-hee died in October last year.
Lee gave bribes totaling 8.6 billion won (around $10 million) to former president Park and her friend Choi Soon-sil to encourage the South Korean government to allow a merger of two Samsung companies that would effectively give Lee more control over the tech giant.
Park was impeached in 2017 and found guilty of 16 charges relating to corruption. The Supreme Court recently upheld her 20-year prison sentence.