Dispatch has revealed actress, entertainer, and entrepreneur Hyun Young was one of dozens of victims of a Ponzi Scheme scam.
Dispatch’s latest exclusive report has detailed how “B,” the operator of a famous mom cafe (an online forum for mothers), scammed members out of millions. “B” lied to the members, stating that investing specific amounts of money with them would generate massive profits in just months, from 10% up to a whopping 39%. The members called it “gift-tech,” short for “gift card technique.”
However, a clear Ponzi scheme was set up by “B.” “B” would collect money from the first victim. When “B” received money from the second victim, she would pay out the supposed “profits” from that money to the first victim, and the process repeated. The total amount lost by the victims was ₩14.2 billion KRW (about $10.9 million USD).
Hyun Young was deceived by “B,” but under the guise of high-yield interest, not “gift-tech.” She was told that if she gave “B” money, she would receive 7% monthly interest, with the principal paid back in six months. Hyun Young believed “B” and provided “B” ₩500 million KRW (about $385,000 USD) as an “investment.”
Dispatch obtained a Kakaotalk chat log between Hyun Young and “B,” showing the money being transferred to the bank account of “B.”
“B”: I’ve received your money.
Hyun Young: I’ll send more ^^
“B”: lol If you lend me more, thank you
Hyun Young: It’ll total ₩500 million KRW (about $385,000 USD).
“B”: I’ll use the ₩500 million KRW (about $385,000 USD) well, I’ll send a few Berkin bags as interest payments.
Hyun Young: Okay~^^
With the 7% monthly interest expected, Hyun Young received ₩35.0 million KRW (about $27,000 USD) per month for five months (May-September inclusive), totaling ₩175 million KRW (about $135,000 USD). However, she never received back her initial ₩500 million KRW (about $385,000 USD), meaning she lost ₩325 million KRW (about $250,000 USD). A 7% monthly interest rate would mean an annual interest rate of over 84%. The 7% monthly interest rate is also over four times the legal monthly interest rate amount.
Hyun Young sued “B” for loan fraud but did not receive her money back. The prosecution indicted “B” for fraud but also judged that “B” had no intentions and no ability to pay back the money they scammed.
However, Hyun Young may not be the only person who committed a crime. According to the Interest Limitation Act, the maximum interest rate should not exceed 20% annually. Violating this law can result in a ₩10.0 million KRW (about $7,700 USD) fine or up to one year in prison. It should also be considered whether Hyun Young paid taxes on her interest, as interest income can be taxed.
“B” took full advantage of Hyun Young, using her status as a celebrity to lure more victims. “B” used Hyun Young’s bank transfers to ensure the trust from other members in the mom cafe, causing at least one other member to be scammed.
“B” reassured me that because Hyun Young invested money with them, it was safe to invest with them.
“B,” also called Hyun Young, directly in front of the other cafe members. I didn’t doubt it because Hyun Young invested. I thought it was a clear method of making money.
“B” was even the guest of honor at a birthday party Hyun Young and her friends hosted for them. “B” also used Hyun Young’s products as advertising material, promoting them on their social media accounts.
Ultimately, “B” operated a mom cafe for three years, garnering 16,000 members. It is believed that “B” stole a total of ₩46.4 billion KRW (about $35.7 million USD) from 282 victims. Of those victims, 61 officially reported the scam to a total of ₩14.2 billion KRW (about $10.9 million USD).