A CEO of a contracting firm has been sentenced to prison for blackmailing Big Hit Entertainment.
According to reports, Big Hit had hired the contracting firm for a marketing project two years ago. However, the firm started struggling financially in 2017 and the CEO (referred from henceforth as "A") reportedly began to anonymously blackmail Big Hit by asking for money in exchange for not leaking information about alleged illegal marketing.
It is reported that "A" threatened a Big Hit employee with blackmail, sending an email that stated “I’ve hacked and obtained all your documents regarding the illegal marketing you’ve done for your artists. If you don’t send 330 million won, I’ll release the documents to the media and distribute it through messaging services," in which the employee reportedly attempted to pay.
The judge presiding over the case ruled that this is a "severe offense by "A", who took advantage of a client’s secret” and sentenced "A" to one year in prison.
In response to the matter, Big Hit have issued out a statement saying that the accusations are all one-sided claims.
Here is Big Hit's statement in full:
“Big Hit has nothing to hide, so as soon as we became aware of the situation, we filed a report with the police and actively cooperated with investigations. The money that was transferred to [A] was the inevitable result of a personal attempt by the Big Hit employee in charge [to whom the threats were initially directed] to protect our artists’ images. The agency itself never gave money to the blackmailer.
If Big Hit’s reputation ends up being damaged by these claims and reports, despite the our immediate handling of the situation by filing a report and cooperating with police, then there will be no entertainment agency in the future that can take appropriate measures in the face of blackmail.
We’re very sorry to the BTS members and ARMY for the alarm that was caused with this issue. We will do everything we can and carefully manage our business partners and contractors to prevent something like this from ever happening again.”
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