Miltiary court sentences disgraced BIGBANG member Seungri to three years in prison

By Lim Chang-won Posted : August 12, 2021, 17:41 Updated : August 12, 2021, 17:41

,[Yonhap Photo]

SEOUL -- Seungri, a disgraced BIGBANG member who has been at the center of sex and other scandals that rocked South Korea's music community, was jailed after a military court sentenced him to three years in prison on multiple charges including embezzlement, overseas gambling and arranging sex services for business favors in a bid to attract money from foreign investors.

Seungri, a 31-year-old whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, has been on trial at the military court since he joined a frontline military boot camp in March. South Korea's conscription law requires all able-bodied men to complete compulsory military service for about two years.

"Strict punishment is needed because (Seungri) gained a lot of profits by mobilizing many women for sexual entertainment," the court said in its ruling on August 12. Military prosecutors demanded a five-year prison term, saying that he has shown no remorse and shifted blame to other people.

"The gambling of celebrities who receive public attention is not small in social harm, such as undermining a healthy working sense," the court said, ruling that Seungri was found guilty of breaching a foreign exchange transaction act while gambling habitually at casinos in Las Vegas from December 2013 to August 2017.

The court ordered the forfeiture of 1.15 billion won ($988,560). Seungri was convicted of misappropriating about 528 million won from his company fund.

Seungri, who was once known as one of South Korea's most successful singer-turned-businessmen, has been the target of public criticism since a 28-year-old dance club customer claimed in January 2019 that he was brutally beaten by Burning Sun employees. An investigation has been launched into drug use, sexual assault and violence at Burning Sun, a music and dance club associated with Seungri.

A sex video scandal was exposed, forcing the departure of several celebrities. The scandal forced Yang Hyun-suk, the founder of a major entertainment company that produced popular bands such as BIGBANG, 2NE1 and BLACKPINK, to resign as head of YG Entertainment.
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