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Samsung Group Denies American Woman is Heiress

Posted October. 29, 2010 10:20,   


The Samsung Group has denied an American woman’s claim that she is the granddaughter of the conglomerate’s late founder Lee Byung-chull.

Lee In-yong, vice president of the group’s communication team, told a news conference Thursday that a document from Samsung Electronics America was forged to serve as evidence to show Lisette Lee (photo) is the founder’s granddaughter.

The document was obtained by a Korean network from U.S. federal prosecutors, and said the "third-generation heiress, Ms. Lisette Lee Morita," a name she occasionally used because Morita is her biological father`s name, would represent the Samsung family at an event promoting high-end LED 3-D TVs at Van Nuys Airport near Los Angeles June 30.

Samsung, however, said the document was a forgery of the original written by David Steel, Samsung Electronics senior vice president for North America strategic marketing, and was sent to the airport.

The group mentioned as evidence the inappropriate mention of a family relationship in the official document; the clear forgery of Steel’s signature; his incorrect e-mail address; and grammatically incorrect English that Steel would not have used.

Samsung said Lisette Lee, 28, once worked as a broker for a business that helped Samsung Electronics America provide TVs for the Academy Awards earlier this year. Since she was also involved in this event, she was able to obtain the document.

On June 14, she was arrested for carrying 100 kilograms of marijuana before the event at Van Nuys Airport and is now in jail awaiting trial. She claimed to be the granddaughter of the Samsung founder in the probe.

“Lisette Lee’s claims have no grounds,” a Samsung source said. “The document has been proven to be forged and her claims aren’t true.”

Samsung will also reconsider whether to take legal action against her.