As if Samsung already didn’t have enough to worry about following its Galaxy Note 7 debacle, the company’s future is now threatened by a probe into its leader’s alleged illegal dealings with the South Korean government.

Bloomberg reports that Samsung Group’s de facto head, Lee Jae-yong (aka Jay Y Lee) is being accused by a team of prosecutors in South Korea of paying Choi Soon-sil, a close confidant of the country’s President Park Geun-hye in exchange for the government’s support in his succession in the company, and they’re now seeking his arrest.

Samsung Group's Jay Y. Lee
Credit: KBS
Samsung Group’s Jay Y. Lee

Lee has been under the scanner since last month, when the prosecution group formed to investigate whether a number of companies and conglomerates – including Samsung – were involved in bribing Choi Soon-sil to secure political favors. He is believed to have oiled the wheels with more than $36 million in payments to Choi Soon-sil.

A bit of background about the cast of characters: Choi Soon-sil is the daughter of a Korean cult leader and was close to the country’s former president – so much so that she was involved in making decisions pertaining to governmental organizations and policies.

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The discovery of her involvement in these matters and her influence over the country’s leader soon saw President Park Geun-hye impeached. In November, she was accused of colluding with Park to coerce local firms to “donate” tens of millions of dollars to non-profit organizations, which she then accessed for her own benefit.

Jay Y Lee is the son of Lee Kun-hee, Chairman of Samsung Group and the head of South Korea’s richest family. He is set to take over from his father, who’s been in hospital since he suffered a heart attack in 2014.

While the court is yet to approve the warrant for Lee’s arrest (a hearing is scheduled for Wednesday), it could spell disaster for Samsung: Following the Note 7 recall, the company’s reputation has already been tarnished and millions of dollars in profit have been lost. Its shares have dropped further since news of Lee’s hearing was announced.

A prosecution spokesperson said last week that after being interrogated for 22 hours without a break, Jay Y Lee denied some of the suspicions against him, but had admitted to others.

No matter whether the court decides to approve or deny the arrest warrant, it’ll take a lot more than a good phone or two to restore South Korea’s faith in Samsung.