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YG Entertainment Founder Receives Suspended Jail Term in Coercion Case

SEOUL – Yang Hyun-suk, the founder and former head of K-pop agency YG Entertainment, has been sentenced to a six-month prison term, suspended for one year. The Seoul High Court found him guilty of attempting to coerce a former trainee into changing her police testimonies related to a drug scandal.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the decision overturns a lower court’s acquittal of Yang. The charges stemmed from allegations that he threatened a former trainee who had given testimony to the police in 2016 about drug suspicions surrounding B.I, a former member of YG’s boy band iKON.

Prosecutors brought additional charges against Yang following the district court’s acquittal, accusing him of forcing the trainee into a face-to-face meeting to reverse her testimonies about B.I’s alleged drug use. The appeals court found Yang guilty of using his influence as the de facto CEO of YG Entertainment for this purpose, thereby interfering with the criminal justice process.

However, the court upheld the lower court’s decision to acquit Yang of charges related to revenge blackmailing the trainee, citing unreliability in the testimonies.