Samsung vice-chairman and heir apparent Lee Jae-yong is to be indicted on multiple charges, including bribery and embezzlement.
The case is linked to the corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye.
South Korea’s special prosecutor’s office also announced its intention to bring charges against four other Samsung executives, three of whom resigned following the announcement.
Samsung also announced it was dismantling its corporate strategic office – a unit coordinating the various arms of the giant corporation.
Mr Lee (pictured) is accused of providing Ms Park’s confidant Choi Soon-sil and her associates with a total of 43 billion won (£30.1 million), in return for head of state Cheong Wa Dae exerting influence for a merger of its affiliates in 2015.
According to a report in the Korean Times, Samsung signed a 22bn won consulting contract with Ms Choi’s company in Germany, Core Sports (renamed Widec Sports), to foster dressage competitors, and provided 3.8bn won. However, the newspaper said that the money was only spent on a single competitor, Ms Choi’s daughter Chung Yoo-ra.
Samsung is also reported as providing 1.6bn won to the Winter Sports Elite Centre established by Ms Choi’s niece Jang Si-ho. In addition, the Group contributed 20.4bn won to the K-sports and Mir foundations controlled by Ms Choi.
A request last month for an arrest warrant for Mr Lee was refused by a South Korean court. However, Mr Lee was arrested earlier this month, after being questioned for a second time.