Today, the former Big Bang member has formally been sentenced to three years in jail over his involvement in the Burning Sun scandal. He’s been found guilty of all nine counts against him, including “facilitating prostitution for investors, and gambling overseas using illegal foreign exchanges,” reports SCMP. He was tried by the military court as he was serving his mandatory military service.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past two years, the Burning Sun scandal was a huge issue that swept over the South Korean nation. The scandal is named after the club that Seungri owned and where most of the events took place.
It’s “one of the most complex scandals to hit Korea, one that goes beyond the K-pop world. A few of the industry’s biggest names are involved, but the allegations span sexual assault, prostitution, drug distribution, hidden camera footage, tax evasion and police corruption,” writes Billboard. In the aftermath of the scandal in 2019, Seungri retired from show business and enlisted in the military.
Seungri was reportedly part of a group chat with K-pop stars where sex videos were shared, and where conversations alluded to prostitution. In 2020, he was indicted on charges of arranging commercial sex acts and gambling overseas.
The star has routinely denied his involvement in the scandal, with his company and fans downplaying his role in the club himself. Time and time again, he and his fans would claim that he was just a DJ at the club and its promoter. Let’s get the facts straight: He was a DJ, but also a club director, and he had invested in the club when it was founded. Yuri Holdings, a company he was co-CEO of, owned 20 percent of the club’s shares, too.
In July, the prosecutor reportedly demanded a five-year sentence for the former singer, explaining, “Despite gaining advantages from the crimes, he is shifting the responsibility on another person… Considering his problematic views and attitude regarding sex, he needs to face severe punishment.”
At today’s hearing, presiding judge Hwang Min-je reportedly said, “It is hard to see the defendant was not aware of financial payments paid to the women for sex. It appears that he carried out systematic sexual prostitution.”