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UPDATE 1-S.Korea police say Samsung Chairman Lee suspected of tax evasion- Yonhap

Yonhap@ (Adds background, details)

SEOUL, Feb 8 (Reuters) - South Korean police said Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee was suspected of evading tax for 8.2 billion won ($7.5 million), and of using bank accounts held by employees that held 400 billion won, Yonhap News Agency said on Thursday.

Police have been investigating alleged misappropriation of company funds used to pay for interior renovations of residences of his and his family's.

A series of scandals have dogged the family of Samsung, the country's biggest business empire. The chairman's son Jay Y. Lee, heir to the group, was released from a prison 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 elder Lee has been hospitalized since suffering a heart attack in 2014.

Samsung declined comment and police were not immediately available for comment.

In 2009, Lee was convicted and later pardoned for tax evasion after being embroiled in a scandal that he was using so called "borrowed named" accounts held by trusted employees.

Yonhap said police had found evidence of fresh bank accounts held by employees that Lee had used.

($1 = 1,087.3000 won) ($1 = 1,088.2000 won) (Reporting by Ju-min Park and Joyce Lee; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)