Fantagio‘s CEO was reportedly recently arrested in China on charges of illegal financing and fraud, which come with potential punishments of life in prison. This obviously is a concern for artists under the company, though they are doing damage control at the moment.
Okay, so if you haven’t been keeping up on the Fantagio drama, basically there was a civil war for control of the company and the Chinese investment group got their guy installed as CEO.
Previously, Chinese investment group JC Group’s Korean branch Gold Finance Korea became Fantagio’s largest shareholder in October 2017. In December 2017, JC Group dismissed Fantagio’s co-CEO Na Byung Jun, and former co-CEO Wei Jie of JC Group became the sole CEO of the agency.
Recently it was reported that the CEO named was arrested in China for illegal financing and fraud.
According to several Chinese media outlets on April 29, Hangzhou’s public security bureau arrested Wei Jie and more than 30 high-ranking officials on the suspicion of JC Group illegally obtaining funds by using a public-private partnership (PPP) project propelled by the Chinese provincial government to modernize the countryside. JC Group reportedly served as an intermediary between local governments seeking to develop the local economy and individual investors seeking profits, as the company pushed for development projects to build 59 “special villages” in different regions across the country, including Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Hunan. Majority of these were actually PPP projects jointly pursued with local governments, and JC Group actively used them to bring in a large number of funds. Wei Jie was eventually arrested by the public security bureau and JC Group’s business was suspended, leading to the company’s bankruptcy. In China, financial fraud, such as illegal financing, is a felony that can result in a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
In response, JC Group has essentially stated that the Korean and Chinese companies are separate.
Hello, this is Fantagio. We are here to inform you of our official position regarding inquiries we’ve received today. The company has confirmed that CEO Wei Jie is currently being investigated in China, so the investigative results have not been released yet. Fantagio has operated under a professional management since last year, and all of its employees and artists are actively working without any administrative or business-related absences. Additionally, we are maintaining a stable financial position and continuing to unsparingly invest in and support our artists. Fantagio’s management values all of the artists and employees under Fantagio and Fantagio Music. Please, we request that you refrain from posting speculative articles for those who care for Fantagio and its artists. Thank you.
Weki Meki is coming back in four days.
They can say what they want about the Chinese and Korean branches being operated separately, but it has to be seen as a major concern in terms of the future of the artists under contract.