Seungri, once part of South Korea’s K-pop ‘royalty,’ was convicted on charges related to arranging sex workers for potential investors in his entertainment firm.

A South Korean military court sentenced disgraced K-pop star Seungri to three years in prison for crimes including providing prostitutes to foreign businessmen.
According to a report on news agency AP, the Defense Ministry said that the former member of the boy band BIGBANG was also fined 1.15 billion won ($989,000) and taken into custody after the ruling by an army court in Yongin, near Seoul.

Seungri, whose real name is Lee Seung-Hyun, was indicted in January 2020 on multiple charges, including arranging illegal sexual services for business investors from Taiwan, Japan, and Hong Kong from 2015 to 2016. He was also convicted of embezzling funds from a Seoul nightclub he ran and violating laws prohibiting overseas gambling by betting heavily at foreign casinos from 2013 to 2017. He denied most of the charges.

“It is hard to see the defendant was not aware of financial payments paid to the women for sex,” judge Hwang Min-je said.

The court also found Seungri guilty of illicit overseas gambling, operating an adult entertainment venue without a license and embezzlement. Seungri has denied most of the charges. He claimed that his business partner was responsible for soliciting prostitutes and maintained he did not visit Las Vegas to use company funds for gambling. The former pop star had sat on the board of the controversial Burning Sun club as its PR director.

He was previously questioned by police in Seoul over allegations of drug use and sexual assault at the nightclub in Seoul’s glamorous and upmarket Gangnam neighborhood. Police in Seoul have also quizzed Seungri in the past over accusations that he was part of a chat group in which celebrities shared secretly filmed sex videos. The venue has since closed since the scandal emerged.

The revelations also uncovered a spate of allegations against other musicians and personnel at YG Entertainment — Seungri’s former agency and one of the biggest K-pop management firms.

Meanwhile, there was a host of angry netizens who demanded a harsher sentence. They argued that the former K-Pop star was “only given 3 years” even after being found guilty on 9 counts.

Voicing their disappointment, fans slammed the judgement saying, “Seungri getting sentenced to only 3 years when Ilhoon got 2 years for smocking weed, make it make sense.”

“I’m glad Seungri got jail time because I was worried he’d only get a slap on the wrist but 3 years?????? He should have gotten 10, especially when Ilhoon got 2 for smoking weed?????” another said in a Tweet.