SEOUL, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- A 38-year-old man has been sentenced to six years in prison for fraudulently exploiting rights to BTS-related events and products.
The Seoul Central Court found the man, surnamed Choi, guilty in a $3 million fraud case on Thursday, Yonhap News reported.
Choi signed a contract in January 2017 with BTS agency Big Hit Entertainment for the right to use portraits of band members and their stage names on backpacks and carriers that his company manufactures. The contract permitted Choi to host only one event where BTS members attend to promote his products.
However, Choi lied to other companies and said he held exclusive rights to host BTS-related events and acted as an agent. He swindled some $524,000 out of an agency that paid him fees to have BTS attend an event and other commission fees. Choi also duped the company into buying his products.
He is also found guilty of making another company to pay him $961,988 for a transfer of the right to use BTS portraits.
Prosecutors found that Choi decided to commit frauds because of a financial hardship with mounting debt. They said he struggled to pay license fees to use BTS portraits to Big Hit Entertainment.