Send to

Singer Im Chang-jung's stock fraud allegation fogs up mimiirose prospects

May 3, 2023 - 18:51 By Hong Yoo
Im Chang-jung (Yes Im Entertainment)

South Korean singer Im Chang-jung is being investigated by the prosecution and financial regulators for his alleged role in a stock price manipulation case.

Eight stocks listed in the Korean stock market including Seoul Gas, Daesung Holdings and Sebang have plummeted to the daily limit of 30 percent through SG Securities Korea since April 24.

He reportedly invested billions of won through individuals suspected to be responsible for the stocks' volatility.

Im sold a part of his stake in his entertainment agency Yes Im Entertainment for 5 billion won ($3.7 million) of which 3 billion was invested into the investment project in question.

For the project, Im made new securities company accounts — one under his name where he deposited 1.5 billion won, and another under his wife’s name for the remainder.

Im and his wife are also said to have entrusted the alleged stock manipulators with both of their IDs to run their accounts.

Im claims that he is also a victim of this alleged stock price manipulation.

“I wasn’t aware of the securities stocks they had invested in, but was just glad that they were making a good profit. I don’t know much about stocks, so I didn’t consider it weird when my 3 billion won had grown into 5.8 billion in just a month and a half,” Im said in a press release last week. “I am the victim here, who has suffered losses after investing. I now have around 6 billion won in debt.”

But a video showing Im at a party hosted by the chairman of SG Securities Korea and encouraging investment has gone viral, adding to the suspicion that Im was also involved in the stock price manipulation case.

With Im under the authorities' scrutiny, questions have been raised over the future of mimiirose, the K-pop girl group produced by Im.

Since the quintet’s debut last September, Im has actively promoted the group through his numerous TV variety show appearances.

Despite his efforts, mimiirose failed to break into local music charts with its first titular track “Rose.”

The group's lackluster performance prompted Im to invest in a global K-pop audition to scout new idol trainees.

“The global audition that had been scheduled to kick off last Sunday has been delayed indefinitely due to internal affairs,” the agency said on Friday.

It added that despite the turmoil, mimiirose will be making its comeback as scheduled in July and that it is 70 percent prepared for its comeback so far.