Okay-pop star Seungri sentenced to three years in prostitution: NPR

Seungri, a former member of popular K-pop boy band Big Bang, arrives at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency in Seoul, South Korea on March 14, 2019. Ahn Young-joon / AP Hide caption

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Ahn Young-joon / AP

Seungri, a former member of popular K-pop boy band Big Bang, arrives at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency in Seoul, South Korea on March 14, 2019.

Ahn Young-joon / AP

SEOUL, South Korea – A South Korean military court sentenced the disgraced K-pop star Seungri to three years in prison on Thursday for crimes including providing prostitutes to foreign businessmen.

The Department of Defense said the former boy band Big Bang was also fined 1.15 billion won ($ 989,000). He was arrested after a ruling by an army court in Yongin, Seoul.

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Seungri, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, was charged in January 2020 on several counts, including mediating illegal sexual services for business investors from Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong from 2015 to 2016. He was also charged with embezzling funds from a Seoul nightclub he operated that broke laws banning overseas gambling by betting heavily in overseas casinos from 2013 to 2017. He denied most of the charges.

His case was brought to a military tribunal after he enlisted in the army for 21 months of military service last March, a condition for most able-bodied men in South Korea because of the threat posed by rival North Korea.

Yonhap News Agency reported that Seungri appeared in court in combat uniform and repeatedly shook his head as the judge pronounced the verdict.

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Before falling out of favor, Seungri was one of the biggest stars in K-pop due to the success of Big Bang, which, after its debut in 2006, attracted huge fans in Asia and other parts of the world. Forbes magazine reported in 2016 that the group had posted a pre-tax profit of $ 44 million in the previous year.

Seungri left the group in 2019 after the media covered the prostitution allegations. His case is one of several scandals that have rocked South Korea’s entertainment industry in recent years.

In 2019, singer Jung Joon-young was sentenced to a six-year prison term and former boy band member Choi Jong-hoon was sentenced to a five-year prison term after being convicted of illicit sexual relations with a woman who was unable to resist , found guilty.

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