Samsung Electronics' chairman, Lee Kun-hee, was named by South Korean police on Thursday as a suspect in an 8.2 billion won ($7.5 million) tax evasion case that involved the use of bank accounts held by employees.
"Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee and a Samsung executive managed funds in 260 bank accounts under names of 72 executives, suspected of evading taxes worth 8.2 billion won," Korean National Police Agency said in a statement, planning to send the case to prosecutors.
Lee, 76, is hospitalized in Seoul's Samsung Medical Centre, has not recovered from a 2014 heart attack and is difficult to communicate.
The chairman's son Jay Y. Lee, heir to the Samsung Group, was released from detention earlier this week after an appeals court halved his sentence for bribery and corruption to 2-1/2 years and suspended it for four years.
The Samsung scandal has led to the younger Lee's arrest last year and brought down the former Smausng president Park Geun-hye. Later, Samsung vowed to improve transparency in corporate governance and grant heads of the group's affiliates more autonomy from the Lee family.