FIFTY FIFTY Files Criminal Charges Against Their Agency ATTRAKT’s CEO
FIFTY FIFTY has filed a criminal complaint with the police against Jeon Hong Joon, the CEO of their agency ATTRAKT.
On August 17, FIFTY FIFTY’s legal representative—the law firm Barun—officially announced that the group had filed a criminal complaint against Jeon Hong Joon for “violating the Act on the Aggravated Punishment, etc. of Specific Economic Crimes (breach of trust).”
Before ATTRAKT, the FIFTY FIFTY members were originally signed to Jeon Hong Joon’s previous company Star Crew Entertainment, though they later transferred to ATTRAKT ahead of their debut. Reiterating an argument the law firm previously made in court, Barun made claims about specific financial issues stemming from funds and debts being transferred back and forth between the two companies.
The law firm’s full statement is as follows:
On August 17, 2023, FIFTY FIFTY (Keena, Saena, Sio, Aran) filed a criminal complaint against ATTRAKT CEO Jeon Hong Joon on the charge of violating the Act on the Aggravated Punishment, etc. of Specific Economic Crimes (breach of trust) at the Seoul Gangnam Police Station.
It came to light that CEO Jeon Hong Joon used the advance payment Star Crew Entertainment originally received from their album distributor for unknown expenditures, then nominally included it under girl group investment costs, meaning that ATTRAKT took on the financial obligation of that advance payment, and FIFTY FIFTY’s digital music and album revenue is being used to pay off this debt.
Additionally, it was confirmed that ATTRAKT had the advance payment of 2 billion won (approximately $1.49 million) that needed to be received from FIFTY FIFTY’s album distributor deposited to Star Crew Entertainment, not ATTRAKT.
The above act is a crime that falls under commercial breach of trust by causing financial damage to ATTRAKT.
Up until now, the agency [ATTRAKT] has consistently evaded responsibility by making light of FIFTY FIFTY’s request for provisional disposition [to suspend the validity of their exclusive contracts] as complaints about the payment of their earnings. However, the FIFTY FIFTY members’ [grievances] about ‘the agency’s delay in providing statements on their earnings, missing revenue, and violation of their settlement obligations’ go beyond mere complaints. Therefore, as long as CEO Jong Hong Joon, who has committed breach of trust through embezzlement and misconduct in financial accounting, remains in charge of ATTRAKT, they can no longer maintain their exclusive contracts with their agency ATTRAKT.
In addition to publicly revealing the urgency of FIFTY FIFTY’s situation, filing this criminal complaint was an unavoidable measure to make it clear in concrete terms why they cannot maintain their exclusive contracts with their agency.
At present, the truth is being distorted on the internet, social media, and YouTube, and undue criticism has been formed on the basis of [these distortions], to the point where some of the content is beyond tolerable. We entreat you to please refrain from criticism based on unconfirmed facts or speculation.
FIFTY FIFTY first filed to suspend their exclusive contracts with their agency ATTRAKT back in June, and the court ultimately recommended mediation between the two parties. However, on August 16, the FIFTY FIFTY members informed the court that they had no intention to continue with mediation, meaning their legal dispute with ATTRAKT will return to trial.
Meanwhile, ATTRAKT previously claimed that FIFTY FIFTY had been persuaded by The Givers CEO Ahn Sung Il (who was formerly in charge of producing FIFTY FIFTY’s music) to illegally violate their exclusive contracts with the agency by signing with another company. ATTRAKT also filed criminal charges against Ahn Sung Il and several other The Givers employees for fraud, breach of duty, and obstruction of business.
Although Warner Music Korea initially denied allegations that they had been involved in approaching FIFTY FIFTY about violating their contracts with ATTRAKT to sign with another agency, ATTRAKT later released an audio recording from May in which an executive director at Warner Music Korea asks ATTRAKT CEO Jeon Hong Joon about a 20 billion won (approximately $15.3 million) buyout that he had already discussed with Ahn Sung Il.