SM Entertainment's Lee Soo Man Under Fire For Alleged Tax Evasion Scandal

Credit: SMTown’s Official YouTube Channel

Credit: SMTown’s Official YouTube Channel

SM Entertainment broke its silence after its founding member, Lee Soo Man, got involved in tax evasion allegations.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists dropped its shocking Pandora Papers on Sunday. The report stated the names of several world leaders, politicians, individuals, and billionaires who have secret wealth and involvements in global tax evasion.

The Pandora Papers collaborated with 600 journalists from 117 countries to create the report and unveiled the most influential people's political powers and secret deals.

"The files reveal secret offshore holdings of more than 130 billionaires from 45 countries including 46 Russian oligarchs. In 2021, according to Forbes, 100 of the billionaires had a collective fortune of more than $600 billion," the website said.

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Other "clients" involved in tax evasion reportedly include international criminals, sportspeople, bankers, political donors, and people in the entertainment industry.

Unfortunately, Soo Man has been included in the latter category. Korea-based non-profit media outlet Newstapa revealed the producer's alleged paper companies in Hong Kong and his summer house in Malibu.

Is SM Entertainment Lee Soo Man Guilty of Tax Evasion?

SM Entertainment Lee Soo Man Tax Evasion Issues Pandora Papers
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Following the report, one of the largest K-pop companies in the industry released an official statement to address Soo Man's global tax evasion issues. It particularly clarified the report by Newstapa and debunked the claims.

"The aforementioned companies in Hong Kong were founded using funds in Korea owned by James Heejae Lee, a US immigrant and a father of the producer Lee Soo Man, unlike the report alleged that the producer Lee Soo Man has secretly amassed wealth overseas," the company explained.

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James Heejae Lee reportedly wired his funds legally before setting up the paper companies. Meanwhile, the last will of Soo Man's father stated that his remaining estate in Hong Kong shall be given to his wife, Grace Kyonghyon Lee. She also donated an undisclosed amount to JG Christian Charity Foundation.

SM Entertainment insisted it provided all the needed documents to Newstapa reporters to fix the article. Thus, his name should not have been included on the list of people whose companies were built for illegal purposes, including tax evasions.

SM Entertainment Plans to Hit Back

SM Entertainment Lee Soo Man Tax Evasion Allegations Pandora Papers
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With all the evidence that was given to Newstapa, SM Entertainment warned about the impending legal action due to the news outlet's "groundless accusations."

It remains unknown whether the company will push a lawsuit soon. However, it did ask everyone to stop spreading rumors that could damage one's reputation.

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