Following a long case that had captured the attention of the public for months, Song Ja Ho — the notorious conman — has been released on bail seven months after his arrest on multiple charges, including fraud, embezzlement, and business interference.
The Seoul Southern District Court’s Criminal Agreement 12th Division granted Song’s bail application on February 5, setting the stage for a trial that involves nearly 14,000 victims and a scam amounting to approximately ₩33.9 billion KRW (about $25.5 million USD).
Song Ja Ho, who ran a shared economy art company, was arrested last July. The charges against him were severe, involving violations of the Act on the Aggravated Punishment of Specific Economic Crimes. Song was accused of recruiting investors to put money into artworks that he had not secured and then manipulating the market price of a virtual asset known as PicaCoin. Alongside brothers Lee Hee Jin and Lee Hee Moon, Song is suspected of a massive embezzlement scheme that has left thousands defrauded.
The court has set stringent conditions for Song’s bail, including a 200 million won bail bond, a prohibition on leaving the country, the requirement to wear an electronic device for real-time location tracking, and restrictions on his residence. These measures reflect the court’s attempt to mitigate the risk of flight, given the gravity of the accusations.
This case is particularly notable because of Song’s high-profile connections and ambitions. Prior to his arrest, Song declared his candidacy for the Seoul Seocho Gu National Assembly by-election, signaling his interest in entering the political arena.
Furthermore, Song’s relationship with Park Gyuri, member of the popular girl group KARA, has added a layer of celebrity intrigue to the proceedings. Between 2019 and 2021, Song and Park’s relationship was public, leading to widespread speculation and rumors about Park’s potential involvement in his criminal activities.
However, these rumors have been firmly denied by Park, who has taken to social media to assert her innocence and distance herself from the accusations leveled against her ex-boyfriend.
If I did something wrong, my biggest mistake was not ending things earlier. As I stated in my official position, I am not involved, so I hope everyone writes based on the facts that have been revealed.
— Park Gyuri
It remains to be seen how the public will receive the news of Song being bailed out after only seven months in prison.