Trot Singer Young Tak’s Agency CEO Admits To Chart Manipulation + Clarifies That Singer Was Not Aware

The CEO of trot singer Young Tak’s agency Milagro Entertainment has admitted to sajaegi (the manipulation of music charts and streaming numbers by an artist’s agency).

On November 1, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency forwarded Milagro Entertainment CEO Lee Jae Gyu to the prosecution with a recommendation for indictment after investigating him on suspicions of sajaegi.

CEO Lee Jae Gyu was charged with paying marketer A 30 million won (approximately $25,370) to raise the ranking of Young Tak’s 2018 song “Why Are You Coming Out From There” on music charts in order to boost popularity and make more profit through streams. The CEO had been introduced to A as someone who can manipulate music streaming figures. But when the song’s ranking did not rise much, CEO Lee Jae Gyu asked for a refund and received 15 million won (approximately $12,680) back from A.

While the police were quietly investigating sajaegi cases following a media report in February 2020, they received a voice recording of B, someone CEO Lee Jae Gyu had delegated his management authority to, confessing to an investor that they had arranged to manipulate Young Tak’s song’s ranking on charts.

On November 4, CEO Lee Jae Gyu of Young Tak’s agency released a statement to apologize for the matter and clarify that Young Tak was not aware of the sajaegi. Read the statement below:

Hello, this is Milagro Entertainment’s CEO Lee Jae Gyu. First, I would like to sincerely apologize for causing concern and worry with such an unpleasant incident.

I have admitted to all of the charges in this case, and I am deeply reflecting and regretting [my actions]. I have faithfully participated in the investigation and explained all of the facts.

In 2019, I learned of a method to stream music, and due to my personal greed of wanting to share an unknown singer’s music with many people, I lost my reason and did something I should not have done. Regardless of the reason behind it, I am deeply reflecting on making a mistake as the CEO of an agency and feel bitterly regretful.

Moreover, it had been my own arbitrary decision to do so, and at the time, the singer could not get involved in any of the company’s business other than aspects related to their music and scheduled activities, so he had not been informed about this.

I feel very apologetic for doing a disservice to an artist who has been receiving attention for his abilities through an audition program after spending many years as a no-name.

I sincerely apologize to the singer who has suffered due to my wrong behavior, the Milagro employees, and the fans who supported the singer.

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