Imposters Pretending To Be SM Entertainment CEO Receive Prison Sentences For Fraud
Imposters posing as SM Entertainment executives have received prison sentences after forging documents and receiving a down payment of several hundred million won (one hundred million won is approximately $80,000) by claiming EXO would perform at an event.
On June 18, it was revealed that judge Ryu Hee Hyun of the Seoul Southern District Court sentenced Kim to two years in prison and Lee to one year on charges of fraud, forgery of private documents, and utilization of the forged documents.
In September of 2017, Kim and Lee posed as the CEO of SM Entertainment and formulated a false contract for the CEO of an event planning agency (later referred to as “A”), claiming EXO would perform in Bangkok, Thailand in November of the same year. They even used the SM Entertainment corporate seal and received a deposit of 280 million won (approximately $230,900).
During the trial, Kim insisted, “We did not forge the contract,” while Lee stated, “I only aided in Kim’s crime, I did not deceive ‘A.'”
However, the judge explained to Kim, “The format of the false contract is similar to a contract that you were previously involved with. As the investigation became disadvantageous, your declarations became contradictory.”
Kim was revealed to have received a four-month sentence suspended for two years of probation in August 2019.
The judge later questioned Lee’s creditability, stating, “You already admitted to the crime when you were questioned at the investigative agency.”
The judge also revealed the reason for Kim’s sentencing, stating, “As the amount of damage is close to 300 million won (approximately $247,400), the victim is experiencing economic difficulties, but only 18.5 million won (approximately $15,300) was returned. With the means by which you forged the document and used it for this fraud, the nature of the crime is quite serious.”
Regarding Lee, the judge mentioned, “They have a history of receiving punishment for fraud in the past and are currently at a disadvantage for being unable to completely provide ‘A’ the compensation for damages. However, they have returned 47 million won (approximately $38,800) and are making an effort.”