Recently, clubs including Burning Sun, Monkey Museum, and Love Signal have been suspected of tax evasion.
On March 22, it was reported that another club called MU:IN is being suspected of using a similar method as Monkey Museum and Love Signal for a lower tax rate. The club is registered as a general restaurant business rather than as an entertainment bar, which allows it to pay less taxes.
According to Article 21 in the Enforcement Decree of Food Sanitation Law, a general restaurant business is described as a “business of cooking and selling food, where drinking accompanied with meals is allowed.” An entertainment bar is described as a “business of cooking and selling mainly alcoholic beverages, where workers engaged in entertainment may be employed or entertainment facilities may be established, and customers may sing or dance.”
The owner of MU:IN is a company called Eumjugamuin (a Korean phrase referring to someone who enjoys drinking, singing, and dancing), and the address registered for the company is the same as the address of Shaun’s agency DCTOM E&C. The CEO, executive director, and finance manager of Eumjugamuin are all signed with DCTOM E&C.
MU:IN and Burning Sun are closely linked. Last year, the two clubs held a collaboration party every Thursday called “MU:IN Sun Day” and also held a joint pool party every Friday and Saturday. In addition, the employees of the two clubs had a joint gathering in Busan last August.
DC:TOM’s CEO Park Seung Do is also the music director of Burning Sun, and DC:TOM was listed as a partner company on Burning Sun’s website.
Previously in July, Seungri promoted Shaun’s song “Way Back Home” on Instagram, referring to Shaun as “Burning Sun’s resident DJ.” However, following negative comments regarding chart manipulation accusations of the song, the post was soon deleted.
In response to the reports, DC:TOM E&C commented, “DC:TOM E&C and Eumjugamuin, which runs MU:IN, are separate corporate entities with different shareholders and employees,” and added, “The DC:TOM E&C DJs performed after being paid by MU:IN. Also with Burning Sun, they performed after being paid after receiving the requests. They are not related in any other way.”
Jung Joon Young to be placed in detention centre following issue of arrest warrant
On March 22, a source from the police said, “Jung Joon Young will be transferred into a detention center by 9 p.m. KST.” The police further stated that the singer will be staying at the Seoul Southern Detention Center.
Jung Joon Young was interrogated at the Seoul Central District Court the day prior, after which the court issued an arrest warrant for him regarding charges of filming and sharing hidden camera videos.
Following the interrogation, it was reported that the singer got out of a holding cell at a police station and was staying at his home in the neighborhood of Chungdam while receiving personal protection from the police.
A holding cell at a police station temporarily places people who have been arrested by the police, until there is an arrest warrant issued. However, a detention center holds official suspects whose investigations and trials are ongoing, but they have not received a final sentence from court.
Jung Joon Young’s act of filming and sharing hidden camera videos first came to light due to a report from SBS’s “8 O’Clock News” on March 11, during which the outlet also reported on chatrooms including Jung Joon Young, Seungri, Choi Jong Hoon, and five other participants. In the chatrooms, the participants allegedly solicited prostitution, discussed bribing police officers to cover up crimes, and more.
Other allegations made against Jung Joon Young include the singer receiving prostitution services as a gift from former Yuri Holdings CEO Yoo In Suk and using his ties to the police to get rid of the key evidence to his 2016 case against his ex-girlfriend. It was further reported that Jung Joon Young was being investigated by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency about hidden camera footage in November 2018.
Former police officer forwarded to Prosecution for charges of accepting bribes from Burning Sun
Former police officer Mr. Kang has been forwarded to the prosecution for charges of accepting bribes to cover up the controversial club Burning Sun’s alleged illegal business methods.
Mr. Kang was arrested by the police for allegations of receiving money and valuables in exchange for turning a blind eye on an incident from July 2018, where a minor was allowed inside Burning Sun. The student’s mother reported the incident to the police, and the case was forwarded to the prosecutor’s office with suggestion of non-indictment about a month later.
On March 19, MBC’s “Newsdesk” revealed that the club was facing suspension of business at the time. In order to cover up the incident, Burning Sun CEO Lee Sung Hyun allegedly paid former police officer Mr. Kang 20 million won (approximately $17,687).
A source from the police said, “The term of confinement for Mr. Kang had expired, so we decided to forward the case to the prosecution for now. If further suspicions are revealed, we plan to make additional charges on the case and forward it to the prosecution.”
However, the police stated that there is still some investigation left to do on Burning Sun CEO Lee Sung Hyun and Mr. Lee, the guy who delivered the money to Mr. Kang.
Meanwhile, the police also confirmed that they received a response from Chief Superintendent Kim, the wife of Senior Superintendent Yoon who is under suspicions of corruption ties with Seungri and former Yuri Holdings CEO Yoo In Suk.
Chief Superintendent Kim, who is also a resident officer working in Malaysia, is reported to have been acquaintances with Yoo In Suk and his wife Park Han Byul, and allegedly accepted concert tickets from former FTISLAND member Choi Jong Hoon.
The police said, “We received a response from Chief Superintendent Kim through email. Because we still have some things to confirm regarding the context of the response, it will be difficult for us to reveal the email.”
Jung Joon Young reportedly appoints former high-ranking prosecutor as lawyer
MBN’s “News 8” has reported details about Jung Joon Young’s newly appointed lawyer.
During the March 22 broadcast of the show, MBN revealed that Jung Joon Young appointed a former high-ranking prosecutor who was an expert in public security investigations as his lawyer. In response to this report, police stated, “Although we’re receiving investigation directions from the prosecution, the investigation will not be particularly affected by this just because [the lawyer] is a former [prosecutor].”
Some, however, are concerned about the possibility of the lawyer using his ties to influence the prosecution when the case is transferred from the police to the prosecution.
During a phone interview with MBN and Kim Hyun, a former president of the Korean Bar Association, Kim Hyun stated, “You can use your connections to influence the prosecution’s investigation while you’re in your current post. This is a common notion.”
Previously, Jung Joon Young stood in front of the press before being interrogated at the Seoul Central District Court and admitted to all charges made against him. He also stated that he would “faithfully cooperate with the investigations” and “spend the rest of [his] life repenting.”
He was arrested on March 21 on charges of filming and circulating illegal hidden camera footage and is currently being held at a detention center at the Jongno Police Station.
Seungri gives statement to police on connection to senior police officer
As part of the police’s continuing investigation into Senior Superintendent Yoon, Seungri has denied suspicions of him bribing the police officer.
On March 22, SBS’s “8 O’Clock News” gave a report on the police’s investigation into the connection between Senior Superintendent Yoon and the members of the group chatroom. Yoon allegedly was involved in the cover up of Choi Jong Hoon’s drunk driving incident in 2016 and also leaking confidential information in regards to the investigation of Food Sanitation Law violations by Seungri’s club Monkey Museum.
The police’s investigation is currently focused on finding out whether Yoon intervened in relation to the investigation of the illegal operations of Monkey Museum, in which Seungri received a favorable legal outcome. Seungri has admitted to knowing that it was illegal for the club to have been registered as a “general restaurant” instead of an “entertainment bar.” There are suspicions that the club was registered as a general restaurant in order to pay lower taxes.
SBS reports that Yoon has continued to deny all charges. It’s said that those in charge of the investigation at the time stated that they misunderstood the law and they didn’t know Yoon.
In addition, during a session of questioning by the police on March 21, Seungri stated, “It’s true that I’ve had dinner with Yoon, but Yoon always paid for the meal himself.”
Analysis of Yoon’s phone has also not turned up anything of significance, and it was revealed in this process that Yoon often used Telegram, which allows the deletion of past conversations.
The police recently received an email response from Yoon’s wife, Chief Superintendent Kim, and they are currently reviewing it.
MBC reports another Burning Sun staff member sexually assaulted and illegally filmed victims
MBC’s “Newsdesk” recently reported that another illegally filmed video containing sexual assault at the club Burning Sun has been found.
A video of sexual assault taking place at Burning Sun previously circulated online in February, around the time when MBC’s “Newsdesk” first revealed a CCTV footage of a man being assaulted at the club.
On the March 22 broadcast of the show, MBC revealed that although Burning Sun staff member A has already been arrested for filming and sharing footage of the incident, another staff member has been discovered to have also assaulted other female victims. The incident was reported to have taken place on the same day and same location as the original video.
Police have launched into an investigation of this case following their discovery.
Warning: Discussions of sexual assault.
In the video, as the first female victim leaves the room, Burning Sun staff member B brings another victim to the restroom and sexually assaults her. It was reported that staff members A and B were involved in the assault of three female victims, and that A filmed the act using B’s phone.
According to the police, the restroom in the VIP room was often used as the location for sexual assault and illegally filmed footage. As the police began to proceed with investigating A, B reportedly deleted the videos in a hurry and began destroying evidence.
One Burning Sun guest commented, “B said that he moved the videos [from his phone] to his laptop to be safe, and that even if he reboots his phone, he’ll still be anxious, so he said, ‘I’ll register a totally new phone, and submit it to the police after buying it.”
Although police plan to seize two of B’s mobile phones and restore the deleted footage, B responded that he will not comply with the forensic work unless a lawyer joins him.
Jung Joon Young reportedly wiped data before submitting one of three phones to police
TV Chosun reports that Jung Joon Young attempted to destroy evidence.
Following the March 11 report that Jung Joon Young illegally filmed and shared sexual videos of women without their consent in a group chatroom, Jung Joon Young was brought in for questioning by the police on March 14 and handed in his phones, including his so-called “golden phone.”
He stated to the press as he left his first round of questioning, “I feel extremely apologetic. I answered diligently and truthfully. I also submitted the ‘golden phone‘ as is and told them everything truthfully. I am very sorry for causing trouble.”
The police have now said that during the analysis of the three phones that Jung Joon Young submitted, they found that he had attempted to destroy evidence.
The “golden phone” was submitted as it was, and so was a phone that he has been using up until recently.
The other phone had been reset to its factory default settings, and all the data has been deleted. The police have therefore been unable to restore the data on one of Jung Joon Young’s phones.
When the court announced Jung Joon Young’s arrest on the evening of March 21, it was stated that one of the reasons for his arrest were concerns about destruction of evidence considering the condition and contents of key physical evidence.
Jung Joon Young has also been accused of using ties to the police to get rid of the key evidence to his 2016 case against his ex-girlfriend.
The police are looking into the time and reason for Jung Joon Young’s phone reset.
Shaun's agency releases official statement about Club MU:IN and alleged ties to Burning Sun
Shaun’s agency DCTOM E&C has rejected all accusations of illegal business practices and links to Burning Sun.
On March 22, online Korean media outlet Kuki News reported that club MU:IN closed in February and that the heads of the club’s company belonged to DCTOM E&C, which houses artists including Shaun.
The article accused MU:IN of being registered as a general restaurant rather than an entertainment bar in order to pay less taxes, and that it had violated the Food Sanitation Act by playing music and selling alcoholic beverages. Because a general restaurant is a business where food is cooked and sold, dancing is prohibited. These illegal tax evasion tactics were used by Monkey Museum and Love Signal.
The report also questioned the relationship between MU:IN and Burning Sun, as it revealed that DCTOM E&C’s CEO Park Seung Do was the music director of Burning Sun and that the two clubs held collaborative parties on Thursdays, joint pool parties on Fridays and Saturdays, and a joint gathering of their employees.
DCTOM E&C responded to the accusations with the statement below:
Hello. This is DCTOM E&C’s CEO Park Seung Do.
First, DCTOM Entertainment (or DCTOM) and corporation Eumjugamuin, which manages MU:IN, are separate companies made up of different stockholders and employees.
DCTOM is a an agency that professionally manages DJs and is a rare kind of company in Korea. Due to the nature of the job of a DJ and irregular income, there were many people who were having a difficult time due to lack of regular work. So we created this agency with the hope that DJ performances would become established as a culture and a profession, and hoped to produce records and performances like DJ agencies overseas.
During this process, one of the employees who were in charge of the DJs’ performances said that they wanted to create a venue where DJs could regularly perform, unlike the pre-existing clubs. A couple people who agreed also said they would try to pursue it, and MU:IN was created as a space where DJ performances were the main stage, setting it apart from pre-existing clubs.
Although MU:IN was a small performance venue and needed separate office space, they said it would be financially burdensome to rent a space out on their own. They asked us at DCTOM, who they were close with, and we allowed them to use a part of DCTOM’s office after signing a sublease contract. The office space, business management, and accounting are strictly divided and operated separately. As it has been reported, it’s true that we hired an auditor from MU:IN as an employee, but our understanding is that it’s an issue for an auditor to carry out operations at the [company they’re auditing] and that it’s not a legal issue to work for another company.
Our understanding was also that it’s legal for a director to hold a position in another office. Besides this, all of DCTOM and MU:IN’s employees are different, and they’re separate corporations with strictly separate company assets.
DCTOM and Burning Sun are not connected.
Since we’re an agency with DJs, Korea’s leading DJ festivals have cast our well-known agency DJs to perform, and we also send out our DJs to various clubs in the country every week. However, Burning Sun was the most popular club at the time, and we weren’t in the position to reject the unfair demands of Burning Sun, which was a leader in the club scene. MU:IN started to become known through word-of-mouth due to underground performances, and we were pressured to make DCTOM’s DJs, who used to regularly perform as resident DJs at MU:IN, to not play at MU:IN on Thursdays, but to perform at Burning Sun under the format of “MU:IN Sun.” While we felt apologetic towards MU:IN, but because our DJs could be negatively affected, we asked MU:IN not to open on Thursdays. It was a risk for MU:IN to not operate at all on Thursdays, but they conceded because of our request, and that’s all.
Unlike the initial reports, MU:IN is not a club but a performance venue, and is registered as a performance venue where DJs perform in addition to a general restaurant.
Customers can only buy drinks or alcoholic beverages at the bar, which is registered as a general restaurant. Like clubs in Hongdae or Gangnam, there isn’t a stage where customers can dance, but a step where DJs can go on a stage-like platform, and a place where people can watch. It’s similar to a small-scale live club or a stage similar to one created by a credit card company, but the only part that’s different is that a DJ performs instead of a singer.
Artist Shaun has no involvement in this.
Shaun is not an artist who has an exclusive contract with us, but an artist who signs with us as an agent for every album. He also has no connection to MU:IN. A regular agency wouldn’t make DJ albums, so we don’t sign exclusive contracts with artists as agencies usually do. We sign agency contracts with Shaun and other DJs per song or album, or for the duration of an event. Shaun’s album was successful, but a majority of his 20 or so albums that he made before and after did not make even make the standard profit of 1 million won (approximately $881) in their first month of release, so he’s still in his beginning stages.
We’re a company that has no power against larger companies, but we created the agency so that DJs as well as their culture could be recognized and treated fairly. It’s only been about two years since we began. We earnestly ask that you don’t spread unconfirmed information because of “suspicions,” especially since these series of events are a sensitive topic. We’re just working hard for our artists who trust DCTOM and are hoping for a world where DJs are fairly treated.
Park Han Byul completes witness interview for case involving her husband and others
Actress Park Han Byul has completed her interview with police as a witness of the investigation involving her husband, Seungri, Choi Jong Hoon, and others.
According to reporting by YTN, Park Han Byul arrived at police station in the morning of March 23. She has completed her questioning and has since returned home.
Park Han Byul was questioned as her husband Yoo In Suk, the former head of Yuri Holdings, is currently being investigated on many charges, including corruption charges tied to the police. The actress is said to have been there when her husband, Choi Jong Hoon, and Senior Superintendent Yoon and his wife, a resident officer in Malaysia, played golf together.
Senior Superintendent Yoon is currently under suspicion of providing assistance to Yoo In Suk and Seungri for work related to their bar Monkey Museum. His charge is that he leaked official confidential information and ordered his subordinate and person in charge of the case at the time to secretly look into the police crackdown. Though he admitted to being acquaintances with Yoo In Suk and a member of the group chatroom, he denied abusing his power and position to cover up crimes.
Though the police were tight-lipped on how long the questioning lasted and what Park Han Byul was asked about, she was most likely interviewed on what occurred the day they all went golfing.
Seungri addresses various allegations surrounding him in new interview
Seungri opened up about the controversies surrounding him in an interview with Chosun Ilbo that was conducted on March 22 and published on March 23. He spoke on a number of topics including Burning Sun, prostitution service allegations, and connections to Senior Superintendent Yoon.
When asked why he wanted to do the interview, Seungri said, “To be honest, I don’t think I’m in the position to come out with a strong stance or say I am suffering from unfair treatment. I have acted in a way that is unsuitable for a public figure, and I became tied to wrongful businesses. However, I feel like what is reported right now is too far from the truth. I want to talk about the truth I know, and help the situation.”
Asked if the “Wrongful business” he was referring to was Burning Sun, Seungri said yes and explained how the misconception that he owns arose. He said, “I think it’s because I said in ‘I Live Alone’ and other programs that ‘I run all of my businesses and I’m the feet on the ground for them.’ The club and the hotel [investor Le Meridien] both wanted to attract a younger crowd, as well as foreigners, so my name and image were used in promotions, which probably helped fuel the misunderstanding. I enjoy being a DJ so I didn’t think it was a bad idea at the time, and because it was a club run at a hotel, I didn’t think anything bad would happen.”
Explaining that he met Lee Moon Ho, the CEO of Burning Sun, five years ago while at Club Arena, Seungri said, “CEOs Lee Sung Hyun and Lee Moon Ho were in charge of everything from management to finances and employees. I’ve never been to a meeting for Burning Sun, nor have I received a list of employees or calculated their wages. I really was just the face of the club. All I did was lend my name and invest 10 million won (approximately $8,800) through Yuri Holdings.”
He said that he had never been briefed about illegal activities in the club, such as minors entering or people using drugs, and he was confused when he later learned about the allegations of date rape drugs and sexual assault videos as well. Regarding the allegations of tax evasion Burning Sun faces on top of all the other charges, Seungri said, “If they did do that, then I’m also a victim as a shareholder. I didn’t know anything, all I did was promote for them.”
When asked why he initially said the text messages he shared in the group chatroom with Jung Joon Young were fabricated, Seungri replied, “They were from 2015. How can you remember text messages from three years ago? I really couldn’t remember them. I couldn’t believe I would say something like what was being alleged. None of the conversations had time stamps, and no context. I truly believed they were fabricated.”
When asked about the allegations of prostitution services, Seungri replied, “In the Club Arena case, it’s regarding a woman from Singapore called Kimmy. She’s the daughter of a famous soccer club owner. I’ve received a lot of help from her, so I just wanted to look out for her.” He denied, as did his lawyer in a previous interview, that the women who were invited were prostitutes.
With regards to the controversy alleging prostitution mediation on a trip to Indonesia, Seungri said, “I had invested two billion won (approximately $1.8 million) through him and hadn’t received it back. I needed to be on his good side. He asked me to introduce someone to accompany him on a visit to see the king of Indonesia. He said he wanted to set aside some spending money for his companion and asked if 10 million won would be enough. I repeated the amount to ask for clarification, and that’s it. But then he later told me he’d figure it out himself and just canceled.” Seungri added, “I never ended up getting my investment back. I pressed charges against him in 2015 but he threatened to take the story to the media, so I had to cancel my charges.”
About knowing Senior Superintendent Yoon, who is accused of using his position to help cover up crimes, Seungri said, “Yoo In Suk introduced him to me as a ‘good person.’ I was just told that he worked at the Blue House, so we had a meal together. We met a total of four times after that till last winter. We never talked about clubs, he liked to talk about history. I didn’t even know he was a police officer. He didn’t know BIGBANG but said he started listening to BIGBANG songs after knowing me. Choi Jong Hoon golfed with him but I never did. There was never any bribery going on. Even when Yoo In Suk tried to pay for meals, he’d get angry and say he’d get in trouble so he paid for everything himself.
He also responded to questions of why he or any of the other people in the chatroom never reprimanded Jung Joon Young for the illegal videos he was posting. Seungri said, “Those messages aren’t my entire life. Of course I asked him to stop. When we met offline, I told him to stop and said he’d be in big trouble. I said that to all of them, not just Jung Joon Young. It was just never through text conversations.”
Finally, Seungri ended the interview by saying, “My only hope is that the investigation and results are seen with an objective eye. These days, people are tying everything from YG to Choi Soon Sil, BIGBANG, Kim Hak Ui, Hwang Kyo Ahn, and others. But I’m just a celebrity. I don’t know those people at all. This was a situation that occurred at a club, but people are tying it to politics and creating a completely new narrative and that’s scary. I’m confused. I’m just telling the truth, and I’m helping with the investigation as much as I can. I just wish things will calm down until the investigation is over and people will see what’s going on with an objective eye.”
Seungri said, “I am so apologetic to the fans and public, my former agency YG, and my teammates who have been with me for over 10 years. No matter what the outcome of the investigation, I believe I will bear this for the rest of my life. I will reflect. Seeing how my wrongful actions from a few years ago have caused such a big situation, I find myself so pathetic and shameful. I hope everything is resolved soon so the public will no longer be inconvenienced.”
Sources: Naver (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14) via Soompi (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)