No Evidence Of Fraud Found In Reinvestigation Of “Produce 101 Season 2” Vote Manipulation
The reinvestigation into the vote manipulation of “Produce 101 Season 2” has come to an end, with the prosecution once again determining that while manipulation took place, the producers could not be charged with fraud.
According to sources from legal circles, early this month the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office wrapped up the reinvestigation into suspicions of fraud committed by season two producing director Ahn Joon Young and chief producer Kim Yong Bum, and they cleared them of the suspicions.
The prosecution found that in season two, Kim Yong Bum did manipulate the final votes from viewers that determined the members of the show’s project group, however they came to the conclusion that it would be difficult to charge him with fraud.
It’s been found that Kim Yong Bum manipulated the finale’s votes so that trainee “A,” who had been chosen by viewers to make the final group, was switched out for another trainee. The prosecution found that before the final vote, “A” told Kim Yong Bum, “I don’t want to debut.” Therefore, when “A” ended up in the lineup to debut with the group, Kim Yong Bum manipulated the votes. The producers’ lawyer had previously stated this was the case during the first trial.
This is in contrast to the vote manipulation in season three (“Produce 48”) and season four (“Produce X 101”) of the show, in which the members of the final group were already decided before voting began and the producers had planned to manipulate the rankings. In terms of the vote manipulation that took place during season two, the prosecution has found that the producers had not gone into it intending to deceive viewers. Therefore, they decided they could not charge them with fraud.
Last December, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office indicted Ahn Joon Young And Kim Yong Bum on suspicions of obstruction of business and fraud. The prosecution found that votes had been manipulated in all four seasons of “Produce 101,” and they were charged with obstruction of business for all four seasons. They were charged with fraud for only season three and season four.
Afterwards, some fans of “Produce 101 Season 2” filed an appeal, stating that the prosecution had not done a proper investigation into season two regarding suspicions of fraud committed by Ahn Joon Young. The Seoul High Prosecutors’ Office reviewed their appeal and determined that further investigation was required, however the prosecution has once again cleared them of fraud suspicions.
During their first trial last month, Ahn Joon Young was sentenced to two years in prison and Kim Yong Bum to one year and eight months in prison.