Big Bang Singer Seungri's Prison Sentence Confirmed

Former K-pop star Seungri's prison sentence of one year and six months was confirmed. The Supreme Court of Korea, under Chief Justice Noh Tae Ak, upheld Seungri's verdict on May 26, Soompi reported. 

He was found guilty of all nine charges, including the violation of the Act on the Aggravated Punishment, etc. of Specific Economic Crimes, violation of the Food Sanitation Act, embezzlement, violation of the Act on Special Cases Concerning the Punishment, etc. of Sexual Crimes, habitual gambling, violation of the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act, prostitution mediation, purchase of prostitution services, and special violence instigation.

Throughout 2019, Seungri became embroiled in the Burning Sun scandal, an entertainment and sex scandal that involved several celebrities, including Korean idols and police officials. The alleged sex crimes added to the "epidemic" of the online distribution of unconsented sex videos taken of women, known as "molka" in Korean.

As a creative director/shareholder and occasional DJ for Burning Sun nightclub, Seungri became involved after it opened in 2018. A number of allegations were leveled against him, including drug use and arranging sexual favors for investors. Seungri then retired from the entertainment industry on March 11, 2019, declaring that the criticism and negativity he received in the past month had prompted him to protect his K-pop group Big Bang and their agency, YG Entertainment.

Seungri was accused of mediating prostitution several times for investors in Taiwan, Japan, and Hong Kong and purchasing prostitution services for himself to attract investment for clubs and financial investment businesses from December 2015 to January 2016.

Additionally, he embezzled approximately 417,109 won (roughly $428,047) from Burning Sun Club under the pretext of brand usage fees for Monkey Museum, a bar in Gangnam, as well as about 20 million won (approximately $15,801) from Yuri Holdings under the pretext of lawyer fees for employees, according to Soompi.

Seungri has also been accused of gambling approximately 2.2 billion won ($1.7 million) at a hotel casino in Las Vegas from 2013 to 2017. He did not report that he loaned 1 million dollars worth of chips for gambling purposes. In December 2015, Seungri was also accused of threatening someone with gangsters through former CEO Yoo In Suk while having drinks with acquaintances in a bar in Gangnam.

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His case was initially forwarded to prosecution in June 2019 with seven charges, and the singer's trial began on September 16, 2020, with eight charges. The prosecution added eliciting violence to the charges against Seungri in January 2021, and he was sentenced to a three-year prison term, a fine of 1.15 billion won (US$990,000), and immediate detention on August 12, 2021.

After his final appeal at the Military High Court of the Ministry of Defense, Seungri's prison sentence was reduced from 24 months to 18 months in January 2022. In addition to pleading guilty to all charges, Seungri stated that he would reflect on what he had done. While he was supposed to be discharged in September last year, Seungri's discharge was postponed, and he was in the military prison instead. As of today, he is in a private prison and will serve the remaining nine months of his sentence until February of next year.