Kim Tae Eun, the chief producer of Mnet’s “Idol College,” has pleaded not responsible on prices of obstruction of enterprise and fraud.
On the morning of November 9, a trial was held on the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Workplace on prices of obstruction of enterprise and fraud for Kim Tae Eun and former Mnet enterprise supervisor “Kim.”
The 2 are suspected of getting manipulated paid votes acquired from viewers of “Idol College,” which aired from July to September 2017. This suspected manipulation constitutes their prices of interference of enterprise in the direction of CJ ENM and committing of fraud in the direction of people who participated in voting.
Kim Tae Eun’s lawyer admitted to all prices but pleaded not responsible by stating, “Whereas Kim Tae Eun is regretful of his actions with no intentions of creating excuses, his actions don’t legally represent a criminal offense.”
Particularly, Kim Tae Eun’s lawyer burdened the idea of pleading not responsible by explaining, “The sufferer of interference of enterprise is CJ ENM, however they’re additionally the beneficiary of the fraud. It’s a unusual framework.”
The chief producer’s lawyer additional continued, “Votes that got here in by way of textual content messaging have been price 10 p.c of the final outcomes whereas on-line votes have been given no weight. But due to the low viewership rankings and poor viewer participation charges, the outcomes have been topic to lean closely with simply household or acquaintance votes. As much less distinctive contestants unexpectedly acquired larger ranks resulting from this phenomenon, there was stress that viewership rankings would additional drop and this system would fall to items. In flip, the load of on-line votes have been adjusted to be price 5 p.c with out discover to viewers, and rankings have been partially manipulated.”
By claiming that “tallying up votes and rating contestants are part of the producer’s particular person tasks and due to this fact arduous to categorize as an interference of enterprise,” Kim Tae Eun’s lawyer additional denied the costs. The lawyer added, “It was for the well-being of the agency. In sure circumstances, a person could also be at fault if performing for the great of an organization negatively impacts a 3rd occasion. But on this state of affairs, it looks like an overinterpretation of the cost of obstruction of enterprise.”
As for “Kim,” who was placed on trial on the identical prices, their lawyer acknowledged, “The indictment is for conspiring with Kim Tae Eun. But since no such conspiracy happened, ‘Kim’ will likely be pleading not responsible. Even when the cost is acknowledged, solely penalties associated to being an adjunct will likely be cheap.”
Suspicions of vote rigging for “Idol College” have been raised in July 2019. Investigations have since been carried out on related packages akin to the “Produce 101” sequence.
In the meantime, producers Ahn Joon Younger and Kim Yong Bum acquired jail sentences for manipulating the votes of all 4 seasons of the “Produce 101” sequence. Ahn Joon Younger has appealed his sentence.
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