[Reporter Lee Da-gyeom, Daily Economy Star Today]
PD Ahn Joon-young and CP Kim Yong-beom, who are accused of manipulating the voting of the Mnet audition program ‘Produce’, were sentenced to imprisonment at the second trial. The second trial court sentenced PD Ahn Joon-young and CP Kim Yong-beom to two years and one year and eight months in prison, the same as the lower court.
At 10:10 am on the 18th, at the Seoul High Court, the hearing of the First Criminal Division (Deputy Judge Jung Joon-young Song Young-seung and Kang Sang-wook) was a hearing on charges of fraud by PD Ahn Joon-young and CP Kim Yong-beom.
On this day, the judge responded to the charges of PD Ahn Joon-young, CP Kim Yong-beom, and Lee assistant PD, “The result of the audition program in which everyone participating in the program could be the winner was terrible, and everyone became losers. “The trainees who have collapsed and were unfairly eliminated due to ranking manipulation will live with trauma for their entire lives.”
“According to the evidence, despite the fact that the defendants decided on the final member two days before the incident, they deceived viewers by texting. There was also an intention to attribute the proceeds of text voting to CJ ENM. The judgment of the court below is legally fine. However, it is valid for the defendants to claim that the crime of fraud does not apply if they vote more than once with the same phone number. “The crime of fraud does not apply to the proceeds of double voting.”
The judge said, “Even though Kim Yong-beom was in a position to direct and supervise as the general PD, he was responsible for simulating the manipulation of the 3rd and 4th seasons. Ahn Joon-young participated in ranking manipulation as the main PD, and there is a heavy suspicion that he decided to advantageously manipulate the rankings of trainees who were invited by the entertainment agency officials. This PD participated in ranking manipulation according to the instructions of the superior. There is a need to punish them. However, he said that all the defendants cooperated with the investigation and that CJ had expressed an unwillingness to be punished for the sentencing,” he said. “We will abolish the centrifuge and maintain the sentence under court for the three defendants.”
At the trial that day, the list of trainees who suffered damage due to the defendants’ voting manipulation was also disclosed. Kim Soo-hyun and Seo Hye-rim were eliminated by manipulating the results of the first poll of the season 1, Sung Hyun-woo by manipulating the results of the first poll of the season 2, and Kang Dong-ho due to the manipulation of the results of the fourth poll of season 2. In addition, Lee Ga-eun and Han Cho-won were eliminated due to manipulation of the results of the 4th poll of season 3, and in the final rankings, Lee Ga-eun was 5th and Han Cho-won was 6th. Angardy Timothy was eliminated as the first voting operation in Season 4, and Kim Kook-heon and Lee Jin-woo were eliminated in the third voting operation in Season 4. Finally, Goo Jeong-mo, Lee Jin-hyuk, and Geum Dong-hyun were eliminated due to the manipulation of the results of the fourth round of voting in season 4, and the final ranking was in the order of 6th, Lee Jin-hyuk, and Geum Dong-Hyun 8th.
The judge said, “The crime in this case damaged the fairness of the broadcast program, and the trainees and viewers who appeared in the program were deceived and joked. Some trainees were deprived of the opportunity to raise awareness or debut. The person who suffered the most damage from this incident is the trainee who was unjustly eliminated through ranking manipulation.”
At the same time, “CJ ENM CEO also publicly apologized to viewers and fans regarding this incident. It has promised to take responsibility and compensate for trainees for ranking manipulation, and to discuss and implement support for future activities. In addition, compensation for such damage is possible only when the trainees who were eliminated by the accused by ranking manipulation are identified. Material compensation is also important for victim trainees, but the fact that the defendants deliberately eliminated the trainees could be the start of compensation for the victims.”
In the earlier decision trial, the prosecution sentenced PD Ahn Joon-young and CD Kim Yong-beom to three years in prison, and two years in prison for this assistant PD. In addition, each of the five executives and employees of the agency who were handed over to trial for violations of the solicitation prohibition law was sentenced to one year in prison.
They were charged with manipulating the results of paid text voting by viewers to favor certain candidates in a live contest for seasons 1-4 of ‘Produce 101’, which began in 2016. PD Ahn Joon-young was handed over to trial after being accused of receiving entertainment for millions of won at an entertainment agency by the entertainment agency officials.
At the first trial, PD Ahn Joon-young and CP Kim Yong-beom were sentenced to two years in prison and one year and eight months in prison, respectively. However, PD Ahn Joon-young later submitted a letter of appeal, and the prosecution also appealed and was judged for the second trial.
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