Tag Archives: crime

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K-pop Male Ex-Trainees Reveal Talent Agency’s History of Sexual Abuse

by REERA YOO

On Sept. 18, E News broadcasted a shocking report about an entertainment company, identified only as XX Entertainment, sexually abusing their trainees and K-pop artists.

Former male trainees of the management company in question confessed on camera that they were forced to perform sexual acts and were raped by the company’s CEO.

“When it was a company staff member’s birthday, they rented a room in a pub and had male trainees perform strip shows while female trainees served drinks as they suffered sexual harassment,” said ex-trainee “A.”

After the CEO of XX Entertainment was sentenced with rape and sexual harassment, E News said they were shocked to discover that “two out of five members of an idol group were raped since their early teens.”

When asked why he could not refuse sexual requests, ex-trainee “A” said, “We have to do it no matter what because otherwise the agency will fire us.” He added that even though he left the company after 2 years of sexual abuse, there are still many young trainees who are willing to endure the abuse.

“If we report to the police, then our names will be in the mass media, and we don’t want that,” he concluded.

Another former trainee, identified as “C,” added that underaged trainees are not exempt from sexual harassment. “There are so many young trainees, but people will freely use sexual terms and touch them inappropriately,” he said. “Our cellphones were checked once a day, and our weights and heights were checked once a week. They would also check the girls’ genitals.”

“C” also revealed that aside from trainees, the company also abused their artists. “A close unnie who already debuted in an unpopular girl group got called in by someone [from the company] one day and returned with face injuries. She wanted to commit suicide.”

Although the company and idols’ names remain anonymous, the disturbing news has been stirring up chaos in the K-pop industry. Almost immediately after the E News report released, idol group ZE:A’s leader, Lee Hoo, posted a series of shocking tweets regarding his grievances over his agency, CEO, contract, and the Korean music industry as a whole.

Photo via E News

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SKorean Professor Conducts Illegal Biopsy, Allegedly Ends An Athlete’s Career

by STEVE HAN

Some disturbing news recently came out of Korea National Sports University as a professor was caught conducting illegal biopsies in the last decade on more than 200 people, over half of whom were or still are students at the academic institution, according to SBS.

The professor, only identified by his last name Kim, reportedly extracted muscle cells or tissues from students, after telling them that he would grant them higher grades if they participated in his experiment. One of the student-athletes who agreed to receive surgery sustained a serious hamstring injury, which later led to the end of his athletic aspirations, according to the SBS report.

Professor Kim, however, dismissed the notion of the procedures being problematic, saying that it is “only one of 200 people suffered a side effect.” He added that the biopsies were conducted to help student-athletes enhance their athletic performance.

“I’m not quite sure if my surgeries were illegal,” Kim reportedly told SBS. “That’s all I can say.”

Experts also warned that illegal biopsies could lead to infection and additional injuries that may not have been identified yet.

Lifelike Sex Dolls

South Korean Cops Mistake Sex Doll For Murder Victim

by REERA YOO

Police rushed to a temple garden in Gyeonnggi Province after receiving a call about a bound female corpse, but upon closer examination, they discovered that the “corpse” was actually an inflatable doll.

According to BBC, a witness was picnicking in the park with his family when he saw what appeared to be a dead female body sprawled near the waterway. The body was tied up with denim fabric and blue tape and seemed to have been a victim of a brutal murder.

Around 50 officers arrived at the potential murder scene and were surprised and equally relieved to find the alleged corpse to be a life-size inflatable sex doll.

“The skin texture [was so] similar to that of an actual person that when the policeman touched it, he mistook it for a human body,” a police source told The Dong-A Ilbo.

Officials said the doll is an import from Japan that is sold in adult stores. Sex dolls are supposedly also found in brothels, since it ambiguous whether or not the “doll experience” violates South Korea’s anti-prostitution laws.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images and BBC. 

fashion raid

Korean Business Charged With Money Laundering in L.A. Fashion District Raid

by JAMES S. KIM

Kidnapping, ransom and money laundering. It sounds like something out of a movie or television show, but in reality, it was one of the eye-opening stories coming out of Los Angeles’s Fashion District last Wednesday as nearly 1,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security agents and local law enforcement raided several businesses, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Aptly-titled “Operation Fashion Police,” the raid targeted businesses that were allegedly aiding cartels in getting money from drug sales into Mexico.

Q.T. Fashion owner Andrew Jong Hack Park, 56, of La Canada-Flintridge, business manager Sang Jun Park, 36, of La Crescenta were among those arrested on Wednesday on charges related to money laundering and smuggling goods.

While it was a perfectly functioning wholesaler of mostly maternity clothing, Q.T. Fashion also had dealings with the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico. The cartel was holding a drug distributor hostage, and his family approached Q.T. Fashion to be the broker and send $140,000 in ransom money. Through a series of financial moves, the money made its way into Mexico, and the indictment said that the victim was released the day Q.T. Fashion received the money.

It’s one of the more extreme examples of drug cartels utilizing businesses throughout L.A. to convert their earnings into pesos through “trade-based money laundering.”

“We have targeted money laundering activities in the Fashion District based on a wealth of information that numerous businesses there are engaged in Black Market Peso Exchange schemes,” said Robert E. Dugdale, the Assistant U.S. Attorney who oversees the Criminal Division in the Central District of California. “Los Angeles has become the epicenter of narco-dollar money laundering with couriers regularly bringing duffel bags and suitcases full of cash to many businesses.”

Those earnings were on full display last Wednesday: agents seized over $100 million (about two-thirds in bulk cash) from 75 different raids, most of them concentrated in the fashion district, and arrested nine people. Three L.A.-area homes were also seized on Friday, as they are suspected of being purchased with illicit money.

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Photo via U.S. Attorney’s Office

Cartels have been unable to send shipments of cash back home since Mexico set limits on U.S. currency deposits at banks in 2010. Since then, cartels have increasingly arranged for drug dealers in L.A. to pay local businesses for merchandise that would be sent to a business in Mexico. That business would then sell the merchandise and pay a peso broker, who, after taking a cut, delivers the rest to the cartel.

Only four businesses were listed in the indictment: Q.T. Fashion, Yili Underwear, Gayima Underwear and Pacific Eurotex Corp. Authorities warned, however, that this was just the beginning.

“This is only the first round of cases,” said Thom Mrozek, the Public Affairs Officer for the Los Angeles District Office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “W believe there will be more, many more.”

The owners of Gayima Underwear and Yili Underwear, Xilin Chen, 55, and his son Chuang Feng Chen, 24, were arrested and charged with nine felony counts related to money laundering and structuring, as well as lying on naturalization forms. Xilin’s daughter, Alixia Chen, remains at large in China.

Four owners of Pacific Eurotex Corp. were arrested and charged with 10 felony counts. They were accused of hiding $2.6 million in drug money over two years by dividing it into 363 separate deposits, the L.A. Times reports.

A Maria Ferre employee was arrested on suspicion of distributing money and changing clothing tags to read “Made in America” to avoid Mexican tariffs. Three other Maria Ferre defendants are at large in Mexico.

Taiwanese law enforcement also froze a bank account containing nearly $16 million that is allegedly tied to a similar money laundering scheme by Mexican cartels.

As of Wednesday, seven of those arrested had pled not guilty. Two others are set to be arraigned at a later time.

Image via Los Angeles Times

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OC Resident Kills Army Veteran And Disposes Her Body In A Canyon

by STEVE HAN

A jury found Kwang Chol Joy guilty of one felony count of second degree murder after the 55-year-old Santa Ana man was convicted of murdering his Army veteran roommate and disposing her body in a canyon, according to the Orange County District Attorney office.

Joy had been living at his home in Orange with his roommate Maribel Ramos, a 36-year-old Army veteran who served two combat tours in Iraq. Ramos was also a student at California State University, Fullerton.

The two were reportedly arguing over Joy’s unpaid rent. Joy murdered Ramos sometime between May 2 and May 3 of last year and disposed her body in Santiago Canyon, the press release said. Joy is facing a maximum of 15 years to life in state prison.

Ramos was last seen alive on surveillance camera as she was dropping off a rent check at the manager’s office. The Orange Police Department began investigating on May 3 when her friends reported her missing.

On May 16, police found the victim’s body in a shallow grave after Joy was seen at the Orange Public Library & History Center where a computer he used showed that he conducted several web searches about the human body decay process and used a satellite map website to zoom in on a location of Santiago Canyon.

Joy was arrested at the police station on May 17.

Queens Murder-Suicide Body Bag

Family Found Dead in Queens Apartment Fire, Murder-Suicide Suspected

by REERA YOO

A Queens man stabbed his wife and teen son to death before setting their apartment ablaze and slashing his own throat in a grisly murder-suicide, said the New York Police Department (NYPD).

Jong-hoon Lee, 50, was a truck driver who was reportedly going through financial woes and struggling to find work. According to The New York Times, detectives found a blood-stained and singed suicide note written in Korean inside Lee’s pocket.

“If I die by myself, it will cause too many problems for my child and my wife,” the NYPD translation of the note read. Therefore, it said, “we all have to leave.”

Sung Lee and Brian Lee
Sung-hae Lee with her son Brian Lee. (Photo via The Korea Times)

The fire broke out at around 4:50 a.m. on Sept. 9 on the sixth-floor at a Flushing apartment on Roosevelt Ave, said police sources. Firefighters found Lee’s body stacked on top of the bodies of his wife, Sung-hae Lee, 54, and his son Brian Lee, 16, inside the living room. All three had stab wounds, and a bloody knife was found at the scene.

According to family friends, Lee’s wife worked at a nail salon and his son Brian was a junior at Brooklyn Technical High School. The two were active members of their church.

Longtime neighbor Lo Lee, who has no family relations with the deceased, said he heard a disturbance coming from the apartment early Tuesday morning.

“I heard some banging. It sounded like glass breaking,” Lo Lee told New York Daily News through a translator. He added that the crime scene, which he saw later in the morning, was gruesome and had “blood everywhere.”

The police said they found no history of domestic incident reports or police responses at the residence. However, they did discover records of a 2005 bankruptcy with about $100,000 in debt, as reported by NY Daily News.

Notably, another murder-suicide occurred in the same neighborhood only the evening before, in which a Chinese man fatally shot his girlfriend and then killed himself. Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) said the timing of the two incidents was especially unfortunate since they happened during the Chuseok and Moon Festivals, holidays known for their happy family gatherings.

Three firefighters sustained minor injuries while extinguishing the fire and were hospitalized. The police said the investigation was still ongoing.

Featured photo via Bruce Cotler of NY Daily News.

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KAC-LA’s Sponsored Post: Who Killed Koreatown?

Who Killed Koreatown?

The redistricting lawsuit by five Koreatown residents against the City of Los Angeles picks up and heads to trial.

The fight against the gross injustice committed in the last redistricting process that split the Koreatown district of Los Angeles in half will head to trial this fall. As a community with high poverty levels and limited English proficiency, Koreatown residents desperately need a political representative to voice their concerns. Yet, two years ago, the city completely ignored the public on redistricting and manipulated district lines behind closed doors, splitting Koreatown into two districts and depriving residents of any chance for representation. Today, Koreatown still lacks community centers, parks and other basic necessities. This led five Koreatown residents to file a lawsuit against the city, with the trial taking place this fall.

Over the years, Koreatown has grown from a quiet ethnic enclave into a booming cultural mecca. Koreatown began as a small cluster of Korean immigrants in the 1950s. It is now home to approximately 100,000 people. As a community, Koreatown, composed of different ethnicities living in one of the densest neighborhoods in the United States, has experienced both successes and shortfalls.

In 2012, the city’s redistricting commission voted to split Koreatown across two separate districts, despite thousands of residents advocating to keep Koreatown in one district throughout the hearing process. Instead of drawing district lines based on population changes and communities of interest, the commission manipulated district boundaries to influence future council elections.

This illegal act of gerrymandering deprived the residents of Koreatown of being able to elect their own representatives who would be able to address the special needs of the community.

Important Dates:
• Tuesday, September 9: Motion for Summary Judgment
• Tuesday, October 14: Trial Start Date

The Korean American Coalition is raising funds for expert fees and deposition costs to help the Koreatown plaintiffs win the lawsuit. To learn more, please go to www.whokilledkoreatown.com to learn more about the redistricting lawsuit and how you can help.

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This post was sponsored by KAC-LA, which is part of KoreAm’s Community Network, a section reserved for local and national nonprofit organizations. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of KoreAm.

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KAC-LOS ANGELES (KAC-LA)
Korean American
Coalition-Los Angeles

“Educating, Organizing and Empowering”
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Joe Ahn
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Shinnae Sung
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Bernard Yoo

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exo

EXO ‘Sasaeng’ Fan Arrested for Fraud and Embezzlement

by REERA YOO

A 21-year-old woman identified as Ms. Nam has been arrested for fraud and embezzlement in her efforts to raise money to chase after her favorite K-pop boy band, EXO.

According to Koreaboo and The Korea Times, Nam was arrested by the Gyeonggi Police on Sept. 5 for making multiple fraudulent online transactions. It was reported that she would borrow camera equipment from a rental store and then pretend to sell it at a discounted price online without actually delivering the goods to her customers. The police found that Nam used this same technique at least nine times, earning at least 470,000 won. Aside from cheating her customers, Nam also did not return the said equipment she borrowed back to the rental shop.

When police questioned her why she committed these crimes, she reportedly answered, “In order to follow EXO, I need money.”

According to reports, Nam is an unemployed high school graduate who has lost her parents and is considered to be a “sasaeng fan” — a person who spends excessive time stalking his or her favorite celebrities and invades their privacy through questionable means. “Sasaengs” are usually between the ages of 20 and 40 and have a costly lifestyle since they splurge on expensive camera equipment, taxi hires, plane tickets, and more.

Nam reportedly admitted that she stays at a cafe near EXO’s dormitory instead of going home at night. She at point stated, “When I was active as a ‘sasaeng,’ I was happy, but now I feel regretful.”

Nam is currently in custody, awaiting to receive charges.

Photo via The Korea Times