Monday November 11,2013 : TOP KOREAN ENTERTAINERS INVESTIGATED FOR ONLINE BETS
Career limiting moves afoot in South Korea.
Police in South Korea appear to be focusing on popular television entertainment personalities in their war against online gambling, perhaps using them as examples to the broader public.
The publication Tensasia reported over the weekend that TV celebrity Lee Soo-geun has pleaded guilty to a charge of illegal online gambling, while two other male stars, Tak Jae-hoon and Tony An, are under investigation by prosecutors in connection with the same charges.
Lee Soo Geun is alleged to have placed bets of billions of Korean won through private and mobile gaming websites on overseas sports games.
Sources claimed that the prosecution of Lee Soo Geun started when police investigating another television personality, Kim Yong Man, earlier this year uncovered his activities. Kim Yong Man subsequently received a suspended prison sentence for habitual illegal gambling.
Other celebrities may also be under investigation, police spokesmen have hinted.
Lee Soo-geun’s agency SM C&C announced Monday that he would step down from all his TV shows to "reflect on self-restraint."
SBS’s “8 o’clock News” reported Sunday night that Lee, Tak and several male television stars have been charged with illegal gambling.
Tony An was reportedly called in for an interview with Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Office officials late last week.
Media companies in Korea tend to take legal infractions by celebrities very seriously, usually suspending those involved from appearances.