YG Entertainment has been suspected of bribing a journalist with ₩100 million KRW ($81,708 USD) to stop him from reporting on Seungri’s drunk driving and drug case.
According to an exclusive report from SBS FunE, suspicions have once again re-emerged that YG Entertainment gave ₩100 million KRW ($81,708 USD) in cash to a journalist identified as “Kim”, who was preparing to publish articles about Seungri’s alleged drunk driving and drug cases in 2017.
Back in February 2019, it was reported by a media outlet that YG Entertainment paid out ₩100 million KRW in a settlement scandal, but YG Entertainment denied such accusations. In addition, journalist “Kim” vowed to take legal action against the media outlet that reported the news, due to the misinformation it spread.
However, there have been numerous detailed testimonies from others saying that journalist “Kim” personally told them about the money received from YG Entertainment.
One acquaintance of “Kim” told SBS FunE how “Kim” was talking about receiving the money in two bags.
Former journalist “Kim” clearly said how he got 2 bread bags full of money at a playground. There are also other people who heard him say this.
He said ‘maybe because it’s in 50,000 KRW bills, but its not as much as I thought.’ He even bragged about how he was going to go home and count it up with his wife.
— Acquaintance “A”
Another person close to “Kim” shared how “Kim” was talking about his plans of what to do with the money.
“Kim” personally said how he received ₩100 million KRW. He said how he was going to use the money to pay back the Jeonse loan he took out when he moved to Mokdong.
I heard that YG Entertainment first offered ₩10 million KRW and he rejected, but accepted when they offered ₩100 million. “Kim” talked about how they have a lot of money so they should have raised their offer. “Kim” wanted to fight Yang Hyun Suk til the end, but Yang Min Suk stepped in and helped negotiate.
— Acquaintance “B”
A third acquaintance recounted how “Kim” even showed him the agreement that was drafted between him and YG Entertainment.
Without even asking, “Kim” boasted that he received ₩100 million KRW from YG. He also took out his phone and showed what looked like to be an agreement. The amount on the agreement wasn’t exactly ₩100 million KRW, it was more like 90-something million.
— Acquaintance “C”
Finally, a fourth acquaintance came forward to share their experience with “Kim”.
When “Kim” talkes about the ₩100 million KRW he got from YG Entertainment, he said that he didn’t get it from YG, but from Chairman Won.
— Acquaintance “D”
Chairman Won is suspected to be Won Young Shik, a big name in the stock trading industry who is close with Yang Hyun Suk.
While “Kim” threatened to take legal action against the media outlet that first reported the news, it has been confirmed by SBS FunE that after over 13 months, no legal action has been taken yet.
SBS FunE has asked YG Entertainment for their statement regarding this situation, but has yet to receive a response.
A lawyer commented on the punishment “Kim” could face if the allegations are proven true.
If the suspicions are true, bribery alone violates Article 8 of the Kim Young Ran law (Anti-Bribery). He could receive up to 3 years in prison and ₩30 million KRW in fines. If it is found that this was related to his job, then the punishment will be harsher.
Also, if it is recognized that he truly did receive a large sum of money for not publishing articles, it could constitute as professional negligence, which carries a penalty of up to 5 years in prison and ₩10 million KRW in fines.
— Lawyer Na Hyun Ho