In response to their alleged involvement in illegal foreign exchange dealings, SM Entertainment founder Lee Soo Man and actress Han Ye Seul have issued statements on January 13th.
KBS has reported that a total of 44 “chaebols” (a Korean term for rich financial cliques) and celebrities have been involved in big sums of illegal foreign exchange dealings. These illegal exchanges amount to a total of 65 cases, involving 138 billion won (approximately $127 million USD).
The chaebol parties have allegedly been caught for neglecting to report after purchasing real estate properties and opening savings accounts in the United States. In particular, the allegations made against famous celebrities include Lee Soo Man for numerous real estate exchanges in LA, Han Ye Seul for acquiring a building in LA’s Koreatown, and more.
According to SM Entertainment on January 13th, “Lee Soo Man and the local co-funder in the United States have completed all necessary documents for foreign direct investment at the time of establishing an overseas subsidiary. However, it seems that our overseas license office has accidentally omitted to submit the documents regarding the changes in the affiliated company. The raised concern is not regarding Lee Soo Man’s illegal foreign exchange dealings, but simply an error that delayed the declaration of changes. Lee Soo Man has noticed such delays in reports during recent administration review, and immediately reported and explained to the Financial Supervisory Service regarding the mistake.”
Han Ye Seul’s agency KEYEAST Entertainment made the statement, “Han Ye Seul has denied the news reports regarding her illegal foreign exchange dealings. The acquired real estate in question has became an issue due to the delay in declaring the purchase with our misunderstanding in the regulation. We deeply feel regretful for not noticing the regulation earlier and reporting at the time of the transaction. We would want to emphasize that the news reports are not true and clarify that Han Ye Seul neither illegally purchased nor intentionally neglected to report on the purchase. We will deliver the payment for the correctional fine as soon as we receive the related information from the Financial Supervisory Service.”