Dispatch has revealed that actress Park Min Young is currently dating Bithumb chairman Kang Jong Hyun.
According to an exclusive report from Dispatch, Park Min Young has been dating Kang Jong Hyun for an undisclosed amount of time. While Dispatch didn’t specifically state how long they have been dating, they did say that they have been tracking Kang Jong Hyun for the past two months, while looking into his past.
Park Min Young’s exclusive contract with Namoo Actors ended on December 29, 2021, when she declared that she would be looking for a new agency. However, her declaration was merely a formality, as she had already decided on her new agency, HOOK Entertainment, where she signed an exclusive contract just one day later on December 30, 2021. HOOK Entertainment is a subsidiary of Chorokbaem Media, led by Won Young Shik. The company also has ties with Kang Jong Hyun.
Dispatch provided a summary of the details prior to the lengthy article diving into Park Min Young and Kang Jong Hyun’s relationship and why he is a controversial figure.
- Park Min Young’s boyfriend Kang Jong Hyun (born in 1982) is a reclusive, wealthy man.
- Kang Jong Hyun holds business ties to multiple companies, including being the chairman for Vidente, Inbiogen, Bucket Studio, and Bithumb Live. Vidente and Bucket Studio are listed on KOSDAQ and Inbiogen is listed on KOSPI.
- Kang Jong Hyun is also the chairman of Bithumb, one of the largest digital trading platforms in Korea. Vidente is the single largest shareholder in Bithumb Holdings, the parent company of Bithumb.
- Kang Jong Hyun lives in a luxury villa in Hannam-dong. Park Min Young often stays at his house. Dispatch has witnessed multiple times where Park Min Young commutes to work from Kang Jong Hyun’s villa, not her own home.
- Kang Jong Hyun’s collection of cars includes a Mercedes Maybach SUV, Lamborghini, Bentley, and Rolls Royce. He will also take a Mercedes Sprinter when visiting luxury golf courses, such as the Wellington Country Club in Incheon, to take advantage of the carpool lane on the expressway.
- Park Min Young has joined Kang Jong Hyun in his Lamborghini Urus and Bentley. Dispatch received a tip that the Lamborghini Urus is a gift from Kang Jong Hyun to Park Min Young, but it’s not officially owned by her.
- Dispatch is raising suspicions that Kang Jong Hyun is using borrowed-name accounts, as there is nothing registered under his name. No company, house, or golf membership.
- Dispatch is actually more interested in Kang Jong Hyun as he is not only a major shareholder in Bithumb, but his sister Kang Ji Yeon is also one of the largest shareholders in Bithumb Holdings. This is one of the economic community ties that Kang Jong Hyun is involved in.
- There is another economic community where Kang Jong Hyun is involved. There is a “cell phone” line and an “arena” line. These are lists where workers who used to sell cell phones and former servers at clubs are now listed as investment firm executives.
- Kang Jong Hyun will spend tens of thousands of dollars on wine and alcohol in a single night. The alcohol and his Richard Mille watch valued at over ₩300 million KRW (about $210,000 USD) comes from the hard work of his employees. Yet there are suspicious transactions from Vidente, Inbiogen, and Bucket Studio.
- He joined forces with Chairman Won Young Shik, who is known as a corporation hunter. This led to him getting involved with Chorokbaem Media, and Park Min Young’s signing with HOOK Entertainment shortly after declaring her free agency.
Dior and Hermes
On August 3, 2022, there was no filming for Park Min Young’s current K-Drama Love in Contract as it was a rest day. As Park Min Young is heavily invested in managing her body, she went to a ballet academy on her day off.
Despite the temperature being 29 degrees Celsius, Park Min Young was covered head to toe in Dior, with a Dior bucket hat and anorak (waterproof jacket usually worn in colder regions).
At 4:05 pm, Park Min Young’s ballet class was done, and she got into Kang Jong Hyun’s Mercedes Sprinter. The destination of the Sprinter was Kang Jong Hyun’s apartment in Wonju. Both Park Min Young and Kang Jong Hyun got out of the car at his Wonju apartment. Kang Jong Hyun was seen wearing a Titleist navy shirt and Hermes sandals.
Kang Jong Hyun also took a box from his assistant. The box contained a gift for his family. Both Kang Jong Hyun and Park Min Young then entered the apartment.
Meeting the family
On August 3, 8:25 pm, Park Min Young left the apartment. At the same time, Kang Jong Hyun’s mother also left to see Park Min Young off in person. The two seemed quite close and shared a hug before saying goodbye.
Park Min Young and Kang Jong Hyun once again boarded the Mercedes Sprinter. This time, they headed off to Cheongdam-dong, where Park Min Young lives in a luxury villa with her parents.
Park Min Young left first to open the front entrance and called an elevator. Kang Jong Hyun followed, carrying another gift. Through the visits to the families, their relationship was acknowledged by both of them.
Who is Kang Jong Hyun?
At this point, Dispatch became even more curious about Kang Jong Hyun. What charms did he have to captivate Park Min Young? Dispatch analyzed him over the span of two months.
Kang Jong Hyun holds business ties to multiple companies, including being the chairman for Vidente, Inbiogen, Bucket Studio, and Bithumb Live. Vidente and Bucket Studio are listed on KOSDAQ and Inbiogen is listed on KOSPI. Kang Jong Hyun is also called the hidden chairman of Bithumb itself as Vidente is the largest shareholder in Bithumb Holdings with over 34% stake.
However, Kang Jong Hyun is a very reclusive person for someone with such wealth. There is no information about him specifically relating to these companies.
Kang Jong Hyun almost exclusively operates under borrowed-name accounts. When Dispatch contacted Vidente and Inbiogen, they were hesitant with their answer.
Kang Jong Hyun chairman? Who? There is only Kang Ji Yeon chairman here.
— Vidente and Inbiogen
The public chairman of Vidente and Inbiogen is Kang Ji Yeon, his sister. Without revealing himself, Kang Jong Hyun lives in a luxury villa, rides supercars, wears expensive watches, and drinks the world’s top five wines.
So how did he accumulate his wealth?
Kang Jong Hyun — chasing his past
Kang Jong Hyun attended a university in Gangwon-do, but dropped out. In 2010, he started a mobile phone sales business with his father. They established D Olleh Communications in Gwangju.
D Olleh Communications was a company created with the purpose of selling mobile phones. Kang Jong Hyun also operated a branch of KT mobile and supplied mobile phones to other phone stores.
Between 2013 and 2014, Kang Jong Hyun was involved in a fraud case, defrauding about ₩3.50 billion KRW (about $2.45 million USD) from A Capital Group by altering the ledgers. He was charged with fraud and forgery of private documents.
The Seoul Central District Court found Kang Jong Hyun guilty of fraud and sentenced him to three years probation with two and a half years in prison should he violate probation. He was also ordered to complete 80 hours of community service.
In 2014 and 2015, Kang Jong Hyun was involved in a roundabout loan scheme with a financial institution. Through the financial institution, a total of ₩33.2 billion KRW (about $23.3 million USD) in private equity bonds were issued to help acquire a company. In this process, Kang Jong Hyun borrowed an extra ₩9.00 billion KRW (about $6.31 million USD) by taking advantage of a weakness in the financial institution.
Currently, ₩12.0 billion KRW (about $8.42 million USD) has still not been repaid.
Take the Money and Run
The events from 2013 to 2015 have been outlined now. Kang Jong Hyun made money by selling mobile phones, borrowing money, and defrauding others. At the same time, he was involved in a loan scheme with a financial company.
In 2016, Kang Jong Hyun was booked for fraud and sentenced to prison. The financial company he was involved with urged him to pay back his debts, but he did not make an effort to.
One reason why Dispatch took an interest in Kang Jong Hyun is that he suddenly appeared out of nowhere in 2020, grabbing three KOSDAQ listed companies and Bithumb.
A fairly complex story now unfolds, but one question tops them all. How did Kang Jong Hyun raise ₩23.0 billion KRW (about $16.1 million USD)? How did he get these funds?
He came out with ₩23.0 billion KRW (about $16.1 million USD)
In August 2020, a company called Initial appeared in the M&A market. The owner of Initial is Kang Ji Yeon, Kang Jong Hyun’s sister. She has a 100% stake in the company, and Dispatch claimed it was a paper company.
Initial’s first work was to acquire a stake in Bit Galaxia 1 Investment Association. With “only” ₩23.0 billion KRW (about $16.1 million USD), they were able to acquire Vidente, Inbiogen, and Bucket Studio.
That ₩23.0 billion KRW (about $16.1 million USD), is it Kang Ji Yeon’s money?
Kang Ji Yeon was born in 1984 and her career focuses as the CEO of a company called IT Mart. It is a company that supplied mobile phone accessories to coffee shops and other stores.
IT Mart recorded ₩4.70 billion KRW (about $3.30 million USD) in sales in 2018. The profit was ₩70.0 million KRW (about $49,100 USD). Yet Kang Ji Yeon and Kang Jong Hyun found ₩23.0 billion KRW (about $16.1 million USD).
Kang Jong Hyun’s track record between 2016 to 2019 is even more curious.
Kang Jong Hyun’s four years
First of all, Kang Jong Hyun was a VVVIP at a Gangnam club in 2018. While the source of the money is unknown, he was the kind of person that would spend ₩100 million KRW (about $70,100 USD) on champagne in one night.
Dispatch was able to find Kang Jong Hyun on two Instagram accounts, where he was also known as #Jasper. In April 2018, he spent ₩100 million KRW (about $70,100 USD) on champagne for his birthday party.
In October 2018, he spent another ₩100 million KRW (about $70,100 USD) on the birthday party of a younger friend. The friend specifically thanked Kang Jong Hyun for the birthday party.
On his own birthday, Kang Jong Hyun and his party invitees also ordered 30 bottles of Armand de Brignac and 3 bottles of Louis the 13th. At his younger friend’s party, they ordered 50 bottles of Angel Champagne Rose, 10 bottles of Armand de Brignac, and 10 bottles of Louis the 13th.
What’s to note is that he still has a relationship with the employees of the club today. The previously mentioned “arena” line includes these employees, who have quit the club business and are now working as managers at one of Kang Ji Yeon’s restaurants in Cheongdam-dong.
These employees also are found on the investor lists for Inbiogen and Vidente. One employee even invested over ₩9.00 billion KRW (about $6.31 million USD) into Initial’s first round of funding.
Those four years won’t go away
The last time Kang Jong Hyun had something on his track record was in 2016, after which he disappeared after defrauding two companies out of a total of ₩15.0 billion KRW (about $10.5 million USD). Dispatch met with three anonymous informants about this four-year gap between his fraud case and his reappearance with Bithumb.
It’s true that he did not pay the money back. I heard he exchanged his credit for the debt. He hid behind his sister and had her as the face instead.
— Informant C
He has been in and out of Thailand since 2016. He said he was running a resort business, but I couldn’t confirm anything.
— Informant D
Kang Jong Hyun was close to a group of gangsters in Seongnam. He did something in Pattaya, Thailand, but saying anything more will be difficult for me.
— Informant E
Dispatch then got into contact with a businessman that has ties to the aforementioned Seongnam gang, who confirmed that he knows Kang Jong Hyun very well, but refused to elaborate on what happened in Thailand.
What Kang Jong Hyun should reveal
The source of Kang Jong Hyun’s money does not make sense. Making ₩23.0 billion KRW (about $16.1 million USD) by selling cell phones does not make sense. Most of the mobile phone-related companies tied to Kang Jong Hyun’s family have all been dissolved.
Buying a stake in companies using money that was meant to be returned to the companies he defrauded is a legal problem. If an individual intentionally declares bankruptcy without attempting to repay their debts, there is a legal case for fraud or evasion.
He says he hit it big in Thailand but then if that is true, he needs to explain why he is hiding behind his sister. He is considered the chairman of his companies, but his employees don’t even know his name.
The company structure is linear. Initial led to Bucket Studio, which led to Inbiogen, which led to Vidente, which led to Bithumb Holdings, which led to Bithumb Korea. There isn’t a clear model or structure for these companies.
Bucket Studio recorded sales of ₩26.4 billion KRW (about $18.5 million USD) in 2021 but lost ₩2.10 billion KRW (about $1.47 million USD). Inbiogen had sales of ₩10.5 billion KRW (about $7.36 million USD) but recorded a loss of ₩7.90 billion KRW (about $5.54 million USD). Vidente had ₩17.7 billion KRW (about $12.4 million USD) in sales and profited ₩800 million KRW (about $561,000 USD). Yet somehow, they are overflowing with money. Since Kang Ji Yeon took office as CEO in August 2020, the total value of convertible stocks, bonds, and other assets is ₩781 billion KRW (about $548 million USD).
On July 23, 2022, a Bloomberg article was published stating that FTX, a digital asset exchange based in the United States, was looking to acquire Bithumb. Thanks to this news, Bithumb’s stock value increased by 29.77%. Yet Kang Ji Yeon was providing stocks to those close to her for far less than market value.
Love is beautiful, everything else is suspicious
Park Min Young is reportedly in love with Kang Jong Hyun. Their relationship in itself is beautiful. However, looking into Kang Jong Hyun, he himself has suspicions tied to him. Kang Jong Hyun was asked about some of these suspicions and some of his answers contradicted Dispatch’s article.
Park Min Young’s agency was asked about the dating report and they stated that since Park Min Young is currently filming her drama, their response will be delayed.