Various South Korean production companies and individuals were allegedly deceived by entertainment insiders who illegally posed as affiliates of Big Hit Entertainment, the entertainment company that manages K-pop boyband BTS (pictured).
The production companies were reportedly approached by entertainment industry insiders, requesting investments funds of more than US$4 million by leveraging the overseas popularity of BTS, reported Allkpop. It added that the industry insiders had allegedly used forged documents with Big Hit Entertainment’s official logos which resembled the company’s branding to scam victims. The victims were under the impression that they were invested in BTS’ upcoming concerts in Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Vietnam, Allkpop added.
Big Hit Entertainment reportedly had no knowledge of the fake document until it recently obtained photos from entertainment reports. Allkpop reported that the entertainment company denied being involved with counterfeit contracts and intends to take legal action once the specifics of the damages has been confirmed. Marketing has reached out to Big Hit Entertainment for comment.
Big Hit Entertainment is not the first South Korean entertainment company to have come under the spotlight this year due to a scandal. Earlier in 2019, founder of YG Entertainment Yang Hyun Suk was reported to have arranged sexual services for foreign investors during dinner parties. The Korea Herald, a daily South Korean newspaper, alleged that in 2014, Yang organised dinner parties and hired prostitutes for two investors – Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho and a man from Thailand.
Months later, South Korean police raided the office of YG Entertainment over allegations of Yang’s involvement in illegal gambling. Multiple media reports including Yonhap News Agency as well as South China Morning Post, and The Straits Times which quoted AFP, said that the South Korean police was formally investigating Yang and Seungri, former member of YG’s boyband Big Bang over “allegations of gambling involving illicit cash exchange”.