Military prosecutors seek a five-year prison term for Seungri, 30, the former K-pop boy group BIGBANG, on multiple charges, including pandering and illegal overseas gambling.
Prosecutors on Thursday asked the general military court in Yongin to sentence Seungri, whose real name is Lee Seung-Hyun, to five years in prison and a fine of 20 million won ($17,600).
“Despite gaining advantages from the crimes, he is shifting the responsibility on another person… Considering his problematic views and attitude regarding sex, he needs to face severe punishment,” a prosecutor said.
Civilian prosecutors indicted him on January 30, but the case was transferred to the military after joining the Army on March 9 to serve his mandatory military service.
During the hearing on Thursday, Seungri tearfully apologized to his family and BIGBANG members for fueling worries and “failing” them. But he denied eight out of the nine charges, only admitting that he violated the foreign currency transaction act by exchanging $1 million for casino tokens without reporting it to authorities while he was gambling in Las Vegas between December 2013 and August 2017.
He denied all other charges, including pandering, embezzlement, and habitual gambling.
Seungri has been indicted on charges of pandering on 20 occasions to prospective investors from Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, and other countries between 2015 and 2016 and embezzled 20 million won ($17,200) Yuri Holdings, a company he founded with his business partner, Yoo In-suk. But at the hearing, he said he had no motive for pandering and that Yoo was responsible for the offense.
Seungri is also accused of sharing photos of naked women through a mobile chat room. He claimed he had no link to the sexual crimes that were committed without his knowledge.
Seungri debuted in 2006 as a member of BIGBANG, which rose to meteoric stardom with a series of hits, including “LIES” (2007) and “Day by Day” (2008). But he quit the act last March following the Burning Sun club scandal.