A disgraced former K-Pop superstar has been ordered to serve three years in prison by a South Korean military court after being found guilty in an ongoing investigation into prostitution-related incidents.
Seungri, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, was sentenced on Thursday at an army court hearing in the city of Yonging, near the nation’s capital of Seoul. Seungri was also fined 1.15 billion won (about $989,000) and immediately taken into custody after the ruling.
Seungri, who is a former member of the K-Pop band Big Bang, was initially indicted back in January 2020 on multiple charges related to providing prostitutes to foreign businessmen, as well as arranging illegal sexual services for various business investors from Taiwan, Japan, and Hong Kong. Prosecutors allege that he performed these solicitation acts in 2015 and 2016.
In addition, he was also convicted of embezzling money from a Seoul-area nightclub that he ran. Although his case began in civilian court, it was most recently transferred to military tribunal after the former singer enlisted in the army last year for his compulsory 21 months of military service. Local Korean outlet Yonhap News Agency reported that the disgraced man wore his combat uniform in court for the sentencing, and that he “shook his head repeatedly” as the judge handed down the verdict.
According to NPR, Seungri was one of the biggest stars in K-Pop in the 2000s, attracting a huge following throughout Asia as part of Big Bang after their 2006 debut. Forbes estimates the group made $44 million in pre-tax earnings in 2015 alone.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen…
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