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K-pop star Seungri jailed for three years in prostitution and embezzlement case

Written by on 12/08/2021

A K-pop star has been jailed for three years for crimes including providing prostitutes to foreign businessmen and embezzling funds.

Seungri, a former member of boy band Big Bang, was also fined 1.15 billion won (£714,000), South Korea‘s Defence Ministry said.

Before his fall from grace, the singer had been one of K-pop‘s biggest stars, with a huge fan base in Asia and around the world.

He was sentenced by a military court in Yongin, near Seoul, on Thursday and taken into custody after the ruling.

He appeared in court in a combat uniform and shook his head repeatedly as the judge announced the verdict, according to the Yonhap news agency.

The case had been transferred to an army court after he enlisted for military service, a requirement for most able-bodied men in the country due to the threat from North Korea, in March 2020.

Seungri, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, was indicted in January 2020 on multiple charges, including arranging illegal sexual services for business investors from Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong from 2015 to 2016.

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He was also convicted of embezzling funds from a Seoul nightclub he ran, and violating laws prohibiting overseas gambling by betting heavily at foreign casinos, from 2013 to 2017.

He denied most of the allegations during the trial.

Big Bang formed in 2006. Ten years later, in 2016, Forbes magazine reported that the group had made $44 million (£37 million) in pre-tax earnings the previous year.

Seungri left the band in 2019 after the prostitution allegations were made public.

 Sky News

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