A K-pop impresario who also heads a UN-affiliated charity has denied accusations linking him to a cryptocurrency fraud campaign that allegedly saw him target some of the biggest stars in South Korea’s entertainment.
Lee Wook is head of the W Foundation, a charity aligned with the UN’s climate change agency. The foundation has previously enlisted the help of scores of K-pop musicians in fund-raising activities. Lee also heads Hooxi Creative, a talent agency with a number of well-known actors and music stars on its books – and is famously dating female K-pop solo singer Ben.
However, recent media reports in South Korea have linked him to a crypto fraud scam, whereby he allegedly convinced members of his own agency and other chart-topping K-pop stars to make investments in a bogus or loss-making cryptocurrency outfit.
Media reports had stated Lee had duped a member of boy band Super Junior out of funds, as well as singer and TV personality Kangnam, per SBS eFun. A prominent YouTuber with over a million subscribers was also named as an alleged victim of the sting.
However, Lee has denied the reports, with his company’s legal team telling media outlet YTN Star that the allegations were “baseless.” Hooxi Creative’s legal team stated that an unnamed media outlet had been reported to the South Korean media watchdog.
The police are yet to issue a statement.
Lee is thought to have blockchain-related interests. He allegedly pioneered the W Green Pay (WGP) initiative – a blockchain-powered payments platform aimed at fighting greenhouse gas emissions – in 2018. On April 20, Market News published an “exclusive” report claiming that it had evidence Lee had used his influence in the world of entertainment to sell tokens to celebrities.
The report added that Lee had sold his stake in the WGP initiative, and investors were unlikely to recover their funds, with a possibility that “further victims” would be targeted in the future.