Big Hit Responds To Reports Of Imposters Creating Counterfeit BTS Concert Contracts
Big Hit Entertainment has responded to reports of several industry representatives committing fraud by using the agency’s name to create and sign fake contracts.
On November 14, news outlet The Fact reported that several entertainment industry representatives committed fraud by forging forms that are internally used at Big Hit Entertainment and using the forged forms to sign fake contracts with several companies. According to the report, 11 companies were victimized, and the damages total up to 5 billion won (approximately $4.27 million).
The Fact reported that industry representatives known as “K” and “D” persuaded several small to medium sized companies to invest in BTS’s global concerts. The majority of these companies are domestic and international concert promoters who hoped to profit by taking part in BTS’s concerts.
Along with “Cho” from T Communication and “Kim” from D Entertainment, “K” received investment money of 5 billion won (approximately $4.27 million) for fake BTS global concerts. Concert promoters and independent investors were scammed a minimum of 150 million won (approximately $128,000) to a maximum of 1.4 billion won (approximately $1.2 million).
The Fact continued in its report that “K” and “D” received help from several others in committing fraud. These people are reported to have forged forms that are internally used by Big Hit Entertainment. They created forms marked as confidential on which they listed four countries that were not on the official list of stops for BTS’s world tour. These countries include Indonesia and Malaysia, in which many Korean agents are located.
One of the victims, known as “L,” stated to The Fact on November 13, “The main offender ‘K’ is someone who was mentioned in news outlets because he was involved in a past case of celebrities offering prostitution services. This fraud was planned by him and several accomplices who helped him. I was deceived by documents that used Big Hit Entertainment’s document format.”
For example, a form called “Event (concert) Appearance Contract,” which “K” and others created to make it seem like it was listing out the details of BTS concerts, suggests that it is a three-way contract signed between T Communication, Big Hit Entertainment, and D Entertainment. In the top right corner of the contract, the word ‘confidentiality’ is written in red, just like the forms that are used at Big Hit Entertainment.
In the case of a contract regarding a fake concert in Indonesia, the form is titled “BTS Fan Concert in Indonesia.” The form says that the concert will take place sometime between November 2019 and February 2020 and that the fee to appear in the concert is $2.8 million with the number of concertgoers estimated to be 50,000.
This fraud was repeatedly committed for about 10 months since February 2019, but Big Hit Entertainment is confirmed to have had no knowledge of the fraud. The victims also kept it a secret as one of the articles in the contract requires them to keep it as a secret until the contract is fully processed.
The Fact also reported that a famous actor was involved in the fraud. An actor known as “A,” who is said to have gained fame through historical dramas, reportedly attended BTS’s concert in Thailand in April along with Chinese investors. This meeting was reportedly hosted by the manager of “A,” known as “Seok,” who falsely introduced himself as an executive board member at Big Hit Entertainment.
One of the victims “L” stated, “The manager ‘Seok’ deceived [the Chinese investors] by saying that he holds the rights to distribute BTS transportation cards at C Entertainment, an agency created by him and ‘A.’ The Chinese investors believed the stories of the famous Korean actor and his manager and invested about 800 million won (approximately $683,000) in distributing fake BTS transportation cards.”
Victims in Hong Kong figured out that they had been scammed after a Hong Kong concert, which was supposed to take place last month, was revealed to have been fake. The victims reportedly visited the office of “K” and tried to retrieve their investment money of 1.1 billion won (approximately $939,200) but were not able to. A neighbor who lived near the office called the police, after which the police arrested the suspects when it was revealed that they are the same people who were on the run after committing fraud regarding actor Lee Min Ho‘s pictorial in the past.
“K” was directly involved in the past case of a celebrity offering prostitution services in 2013. As a result of the case, “K” spent six months in jail. Afterwards, he committed fraud regarding celebrity pictorials, for which he received a jail sentence of three years and six months, but he went into hiding afterwards. While on the run, he was arrested on November 9 and is reportedly being held at a detention center in Seoul.
He also has a history of committing fraud against investors and agencies with forms that declared the intention of celebrities including EXO, Super Junior, Teen Top, SISTAR, Block B, Lee Min Ho, Kim Soo Hyun, and B1A4 to appear in concerts between 2014 and 2015.
Another victim “H” stated to The Fact, “I was confirmed that ‘K’ has been arrested. I made a request to a law firm two days ago, and they have already started going through the documents. We will submit a complaint to the Seoul Gangnam Police Station for allegations of fraud at the end of this week or next Monday at the latest.”
In response, a representative of Big Hit Entertainment stated to The Fact, “We became aware [of the fraud] after seeing a screenshot of a fake document from an industry source. Bit Hit Entertainment has never signed such contracts. They are fake contracts and documents. In a situation like this, we take legal action when we find out that actual crimes and damages have been done.”