A 28-year-old man has been sentenced to 14 months in prison for posing as a member of BTS to obtain details about the group’s activities and then-unreleased music.
Key details: The man was sentenced at the Daegu District Court’s Western District Criminal Division 9 on Monday, according to South Korean media outlet The Fact.
The defendant, whose name was not revealed, received a prison sentence of one year and two months, with an additional suspension of three years. A judge also ordered him to complete 240 hours of community service and 40 hours of mental and psychotherapy classes.
What happened: Pretending to be a member of BTS, the man reportedly conned an unnamed Big Hit Music producer, whose personal information he acquired online, into revealing the group’s then-upcoming promotions and then-undisclosed music in February 2022. Investigators learned that the man pulled the scam to make himself look like a successful producer.
He then shared the music on Instagram and with his acquaintances via KakaoTalk over 47 times from February 2022 to May 2022.
The defense’s statement: The man’s attorney appealed for leniency after he was previously given a one-and-a-half-year prison sentence, arguing that he began having trouble developing healthy relationships with people due to his “criminal past” and his time spent on social media.
The attorney added that the man, who had studied music before his arrest, only committed the crime because he wanted to become as famous as one of his former classmates who became a celebrity.
Complaints dropped: Big Hit Music reportedly withdrew its lawsuit after considering that the defendant only released edited snippets of the stolen songs which ran for 10 to 20 seconds, and that they were eventually released to the public.