It’s been confirmed that following a reinvestigation, the prosecution dropped the charges against the producers of Mnet’s Produce 101 Season 2 for fraud relating to voting manipulation.
According to the report, the Seoul Central District Public Prosecutors’ Office closed the investigation of CP Kim Yong Bum and PD Ahn Joon Young without handing them over to trial for fraud. Related prosecution personnel stated, “We lacked evidence to believe that they tricked the viewers with the final voting of particular cast from the very beginning, so it was difficult to charge them for fraud.“
The Produce series is a reality TV program that auditions a total of 101 contestants and narrows them down to a debuting idol group. CP Kim Yong Bum and PD Ahn Joon Young were handed over to trial last December for manipulating the votes of all final contestants of seasons 3 and 4 and one contestant of season 2.
Although they were charged for fraud and obstruction of justice for seasons 3 and 4, the charges didn’t apply to season 2, which led to a reinvestigation for making viewers vote despite knowing that the debut members were not going to be fairly chosen from the very beginning and obtaining profits as a result.
The investigation regarding voting manipulation is nearing its end. Just last month, CP Kim Yong Bum and PD Ahn Joon Young were sentenced to 1 year and 8 months in prison and 2 years in prison respectively.