Lee Sang Min Responds To Being Sued For Fraud
On July 23, Sports Chosun reported that Lee Sang Min was being sued for fraud.
The report was based on a phone interview with the lawyer Choi Yoo Jin, who represents the person who filed the lawsuit (hereafter known as “A”). In the interview, Choi Yoo Jin said, “On July 23, we filed a complaint against Lee Sang Min for fraud up to 1.3 billion won [about $1.1 million] at the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office.”
According to the lawyer, Lee Sang Min defrauded “A” of 1.27 billion won (about $1.08 million). Choi Yoo Jin said, “Lee Sang Min received 400 million won [about $340,000] from ‘A’ under the pretext of helping ‘A’ with a loan of 4.5 billion won [about $3.8 million] from a financial institution. However, the loan fell through and Lee Sang Min said that instead he would promote A’s company on a TV show that he was on. He received an additional 870 million won [about $740,000] under the pretext of being an official promotional model for A’s company.”
The lawyer said that A was eventually unable to pay his employees’ wages or pay back his debt and was sued for fraud and professional negligence in 2016.
After hearing recently on TV that Lee Sang Min had paid back all his debts, A contacted Lee Sang Min and Lee Sang Min’s agency multiple times but did not get a response. Eventually, A submitted a formal complaint to the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office through his lawyer.
The lawyer said, “The faster that my client can resolve financial matters between him and Lee Sang Min, the faster he can repay his own victims.”
In an interview with Sports DongA later that day, Lee Sang Min denied A’s claims and said, “It’s not true. I am being unfairly accused. It’s true that A has sent me a certification of contents. But not all of [the report] is true. I did officially sign a contract with that person as a promotional model. I heard later that A was being sued.”
He continued, “The person who got me signed as a promotional model was my acquaintance. ‘A’ sent me a request for help through that acquaintance. But my only relationship with ‘A’ was as a contracted promotional model. How can I help him as an advertiser? As to the claim that I helped him with a loan, I would have to have connections and a lender, but I wasn’t in a situation where I could have those things.”
He concluded, “After I refused to help him, he made up a story and started making false accusations. It seems like he decided to threaten me with false information because I am a celebrity. After I look into the exact situation, there will be no choice but to respond legally. I’ll say it again but these charges are all false.”
Finally, Lee Sang Min’s agency released an official statement from their artist. It reads:
The content of the newspaper report released today about being sued for fraud is different from the truth.
First, I would like to state that I have plans to take all the legal action that is available against the person who sued me without any evidence, including counter-suing for false accusations and defamation of character.
The truth will be clearly revealed through an investigative agency, but if you would like to hear it from my own lips, these are the details of the lawsuit that has been filed against me.
Many years ago, I received a request from a close acquaintance to act as a brand commercial model for a construction company and I signed a modeling contract. Afterwards, I promoted as a commercial model and even appeared on variety shows that the advertising company produced. I fully cooperated with the terms of my contract.
However, the person who sued me soon created a lot of victims, including myself, by not paying appearance fees or employee wages.
The advertising agency that sued me received a prison sentence three years ago for seven years and six months and is currently in jail. Considering the various circumstances, it seems like the plaintiff has decided to falsely accuse me for financial reasons.
The plaintiff is trying to threaten me with this lawsuit to get me to return the advertising model fee that they paid me, but there is no reason for me to return this fee as I fully carried out the terms of the contract.
As a public figure, I regret having caused concern to many people by being caught up in a disreputable situation. I am of course taken aback by being sued for false charges, but I will deal with the matter as smoothly as possible. Thank you.
Top Photo Credit: Xportsnews