Actor Bae Yong-joon accused of fraud

September 23, 2014
Bae Yong-joon (Yonhap)

Bae Yong-joon (Yonhap)

(Yonhap) — South Korean star actor Bae Yong-joon has been accused of fraud by a local health food supplement firm, the state prosecutors’ office said Tuesday.

Koje, a South Korean health food company, reportedly signed a contract in 2009 to sell red ginseng in Japan on behalf of Gorilla Life Way Co., a restaurant management business owned by Bae. However, the agreement broke down the following year. The food company argued it gave Bae’s company 2.2 billion won (US$2.1 million) for the sales rights, but the money was not used to carry out market research as was outlined in the contract.

“Koje claims Bae’s deceptive action caused it to lose huge sums of money,” a prosecution official said, adding that because the suit was filed on Friday, investigators have only begun to examine the case.

“No plans have been set to summon Bae for questioning at present,” he said.

KEYEAST denied the charges and pointed out that Koje’s management has been found guilty of embezzlement and that another legal action taken by Koje against Bae’s restaurant management company last year ended in the court rejecting the claims made.

“Koje is using the fact that Bae is famous to make a social issue out of its preposterous claims,” the entertainment said in a statement, adding that every action will be taken to respond firmly to the false accusations.

Bae, 42, is a popular celebrity thanks to such TV dramas like the “Winter Sonata” that played a role in fueling the Korean Wave or “Hallyu” across many parts of Asia. He has also become a successful businessman, being a major shareholder of entertainment company KEYEAST.

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