Jannabi’s Choi Jung Hoon And Agency Respond To Reports Of His Father’s Fraud And Embezzlement
On May 24, SBS reported that businessman “Choi” is under investigation for fraud and embezzlement and suspected of providing tens of millions of won (approximately tens of thousands of dollars) in the form of entertainment to former Vice-minister of Ministry of Justice Kim Hak Eui. It was also revealed that the son of this businessman is a member of a popular band and is under suspicion of participating in the operation of the problematic company.
Three years ago, Mr. Choi established a real estate business and attained a development license in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province after just one year. However, his license was on the verge of being revoked after he was unable to pay certain fees, and he instead sold it for 100 billion won (approximately $84.3 million) to another businessman in the real estate industry named “A.” However, after “A” had paid the 17 billion won (approximately $1.4 million) fees that Mr. Choi did not, “A” realized that the terms he had initially agreed to were different from the true terms. Additionally, five months prior to their deal, the court approved an injunction prohibiting Mr. Choi from selling his business license, which he hid from “A.”
“A” recently sued Mr. Choi for fraud. Mr. Choi is also under suspicion of receiving the 15-billion-won (approximately $1.2 million) down payment through a check, instead of the company bank account, and pocketing the money. He is also facing lawsuits from the various investors who did not receive any money back, due to apparent lack of funds.
Both of Mr. Choi’s sons, one of whom is the vocalist of a popular band, are also under suspicion for intervening with the company’s management. There is evidence indicating that his sons voted at the general shareholders’ meeting of Mr. Choi’s business as the largest shareholders.
Mr. Choi has since explained that his children have nothing to do with the matter and that he only registered the stocks under their names. In regards to the 15 billion won (approximately $1.2 million) down payment that he was accused of taking, he stated that the co-CEO of his company, who recently passed away, had received the money. Mr. Choi lastly stated that he canceled his contract with “A” because “A” failed to fulfill the contract terms.
After being accused of being the band mentioned above, Jannabi and their agency Peponi Music have addressed the matter.
On May 25, Peponi Music released a statement that reads as follows:
Hello. This is Peponi Music.
We are victims of news released by a certain broadcasting station yesterday. The topic of yesterday’s news is not true and has nothing to do with us, Peponi Music. We are not in association with the mentioned father or two sons and have not been investigated regarding this case. We are planning on taking legal action for the unconfirmed statements surfacing on various communities. Moving forward, we ask that you refrain from spreading groundless facts.
Although identities were anonymous when this news was revealed on SBS’s “News 8,” keywords such as Mr. Choi, two sons, and popular band led to the suspicion of Jannabi.
Choi Jung Hoon has also personally spoken about the issue, posting on Instagram the following statement:
Hello. This is Jannabi’s Choi Jung Hoon. I write this statement with a heavy heart.
First off, we would all like to take responsibility for Young Hyun’s school violence issue.
Since we have traveled such a long, breathless road looking only towards music, we were unable to take the time to look back. As the leader of Jannabi, I apologize once again on everyone’s behalf.
In addition, I want to share the truth regarding all the news surrounding me. For my fans who have related to my music and thought of it as a memory, I believe it is my duty to share the truth. Throughout my childhood and school days, I lived a wealthy life thanks to my father’s business.
However, in 2012, my father’s business failed, but he did not receive any financial assistance after that. 2012 is also the year Jannabi was formed. My father still dreamed of his business’s resurgence, so I allowed him to use my name to create a new company. He felt pressured to use his own, due to his poor credit score. This is the same reason that my brother and I have our names down as stockholders. I thought that I had to help my dad as his son. After confirming, the total price of my investment was only 15 million won (approximately $12,600).
I believe that those throwing my name around in the comments of articles that have nothing to do with me and those who have been providing these articles are the same people, or of the same community. They have taken my father’s hard-earned license and used his well-known son as bait to threaten. They have also made up stories to interrupt my father’s work, and while lawsuits against him have been made, he was cleared of the suspicions.
The father I know has always gone to work at an office and has never intentionally avoided conflict within his company. I feel unfortunate about reporter Go Jung Hyun who did not try to resolve things with my father and instead tried to tie my brother and myself into this.
My father also plans to make an official statement. In regards to Kim Hak Eui, whose name I do not even want to mention, the only thing I know is that they were close friends with my father since before I was born. I have never received any type of benefit because of him.
My father has always taught me not to run away and avoid my problems. I believe that my father will do the same. He promised me that he was face the consequences if he made mistakes and would reveal the truth about false news.
Lastly, I want to say that my brother and I do not have the strength to face such a big issue like this. As my fans and many others have seen through our stages, Jannabi and Peponi Music worked hard from the ground up. What kept my brother and I going was not my father’s money and resources, but his failures.
I am sorry and thankful for my mother who used the money our family had saved up in order to provide a basement studio and van for me. I created music and performed with a sincere heart, and my brother Choi Jung Joon has promoted my music more sincerely than anyone else. He has lived an upright and honest life.
I am scared to death that my sincerity, my music, and my performances will be seen in a hypocritical way. I beg for the people who are aware of the truth.
Please help me gain even a little bit of strength. I am so scared, tired, and in pain. I am sorry for causing concern.
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안녕하세요 잔나비 최정훈입니다. 처참한 마음을 안고 글을 씁니다. 우선 영현이의 학교 폭력 사건에 대해서는 진심으로 저희 모두에게 책임이 있다고 생각합니다. 음악 하나만 바라보고 긴 여정을 숨차게 뛰어왔기에 뒤를 돌아볼 시간을 갖지 못했습니다. 리더로서 잔나비를 대표해 다시 한번 사과드립니다. 그리고 그 외의 저와 관련해 불거진 내용들에 대한 해명과 마지막 진심을 전하고 싶습니다. 그동안 제 음악에 공감해주시고 제 음악이 추억 한 편에 자리하셨을, 그래서 현재 떠도는 소문들에 소름끼치게 불편해하실 많은 팬분들께 제 있는 그대로의 진실을 전해드리는게 대한 제 도리이자 의무라고 생각합니다. . 제 유년시절, 학창시절은 아버지 사업의 성업으로 부족함 없었습니다. . 하지만 2012년 경 아버지의 사업은 실패하셨고 그 이후 아버지의 경제적인 도움을 받은 적은 결단코 없습니다. . (2012년은 잔나비를 결성한 때입니다.) . 오히려 이후에도 사업적 재기를 꿈꾸시는 아버지의 요청으로 회사 설립에 필요한 명의를 드린 적이 있습니다. . 사업의 실패로 신용상태가 안좋으셨던 아버지의 명의로는 부담이 되셔서 라고 하셨습니다. . 저희 형제가 주주에 이름을 올리게 된 것도 그 이유 때문입니다. 아들로서 당연히 아버지를 도와야 한다고 생각했습니다. . (확인한 결과 제 명의의 주식에 대한 투자금액은 1500만원에 불과합니다.) . 저와 제 형의 인감 역시 그 때 아버지께 위임했습니다. . 그 동안 저와 관련없는 기사 댓글에 제 이름을 거론하며 제 명예를 훼손시킨 이와 기사(아버지 용인 사업건)의 제보자는 동일한 인물 혹은 그 무리라고 추정됩니다. . 제보자로 추정되는 그 무리들은 아버지가 가까스로 따낸 사업승인권을 헐값에 강취하려 많이 알려진 아들을 미끼로 반어적인 협박을 수시로 하였다고 합니다. . 또한 제보자가 아버지를 방해하려 없는 일을 만들어내 아버지를 고소한 일들도 많았지만 모두 무혐의 판정을 받으신 사실이 있습니다. . 제가 아는 한 아버지는 늘 사무실로 출근하셨고, 사업으로 인해 생긴 크고 작은 갈등들을 피하신 적이 없습니다. . 그런 아버지와 맞대어 정상적으로 일을 해결하려 하지는 않고, 아들인 저와 제 형을 어떻게든 엮어 허위 제보를 하는 이의 말을 기사화 하신 고정현기자님께 깊은 유감을 표합니다. . 아버지 사업 건에 관한 자세한 사항은 추후에 아버지께서 직접 입장 표명을 하실 예정입니다. . 이름도 거론하기 두렵고 싫은 ㄱㅎㅇ 건에 관해서 제가 아는 사실은 아버지와 그 사람이 제가 태어나기 전 부터 가까이 지내던 친구 사이였다는 것만 알고 있었습니다. . 저는 그 사람으로 인해 어떠한 혜택 조차 받은 적이 없습니다. . 아버지는 늘 제게 도망치지 말고 피하지 말라고 가르치셨습니다. 아버지도 꼭 그렇게 행하실 거라 믿습니다. . 죄가 있다면 죗값을 혹독히 치르실 것이고 잘못된 사실에 대해서는 공개적으로 바로 잡겠다고 제게 약속하셨습니다. . 마지막으로 호소하고 싶습니다. 저와 제 형에게는 이런 큰 일을 감당할 어느 힘도 꾀도 없습니다. 잔나비와 페포니 뮤직은 팬분들과 많은 관계자분들이 무대에서 그리고 현장에서 보셨던 바 대로 밑바닥부터 열심히 오랜 기간에 걸쳐 처절하게 활동해왔습니다. 저희 형제의 원동력이 된 것은 아버지의 돈과 빽이 아닌 아버지의 실패였고 풍비박산이 난 살림에 모아둔 돈을 털어 지하 작업실과 국산 승합차 한 대 마련해 주신 어머니에 대한 미안함과 고마움이었습니다. 진실되게 음악을 만들고 공연했고, 제 형인 최정준 실장은 그 누구보다 진실되게 홍보하고, 발로 뛰었습니다. 그리고 바르고 정직하게 살았습니다. 제 진심과 음악과 무대 위에서 보여드린 모습들이 위선으로 비춰지는 게 죽기보다 두렵습니다. 제 진실을 아시는 분들께 마지막 간곡하게 부탁드리고 싶습니다. 부디 작게나마 제게 힘이 되어주세요. 너무 너무 무섭고 힘들고 아픕니다. 심려끼쳐드려 죄송합니다.