A 38-year-old scam artist has received a 6-year prison sentence for pretending to sell BTS‘s exclusive portrait rights in Japan.
The man, Mr. Choi, owns a company that manufactures products in collaboration with celebrities. He ran a financial scam that involved tricking Japanese clients into believing he had the right to sell them BTS’s exclusive portrait rights for official BTS merchandise production in Japan. Mr. Choi also led his victims to believe that he had the right to organize BTS concerts and fan events.
On April 11, the Seoul High Court, headed by judge Cha Moon Ho, sentenced Mr. Choi to 6 years in prison for violating the Additional Punishment Law on Specific Economic Crimes. According to the bench, the financial damage Mr. Choi caused to his victims was severe. Through his exclusive portrait rights scam, he took 1.1 billion won (about $960,000 USD) from his victims. He defrauded his victims of 624 million won (about $550,000 USD) by tricking them into believing he could organize events, such as fan meetings, with BTS.
The bench stated that, in addition to causing victims financial harm, Mr. Choi has dishonored BTS’s name, and damaged the reputation of Korea.
Mr. Choi has also damaged our nation’s reputation by victimizing foreigners. Not only has he brought dishonor to BTS’s name, but there are many people who hope for Mr. Choi to be punished, who have not been not recovered from the damage done to them.
– The bench
For these reasons, the Seoul High Court refused to lower Mr. Choi’s sentence. Mr. Choi had previously requested an appeal on the verdict he received in October 2018 from a lower court.