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Prosecution mulls seeking warrant against singer over alleged plagiarism

All News 18:22 June 04, 2016

SOKCHO, South Korea, June 4 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors said Saturday that they are mulling over seeking a warrant to detain singer Jo Young-nam over allegations that he falsely took credit for hundreds of paintings that were actually created by his assistant.

Jo, a legendary South Korean singer from the 1970's who is also working as a professional painter, is facing fraud charges, the Sokcho branch of Chuncheon District Prosecutors' Office probing the case said.

"We are reviewing whether to seek the arrest warrant," a prosecution official close to the investigation said, adding that the prosecution will decide on the matter sometime next week.

An investigation was launched after the assistant, identified only as a 61-year-old surnamed Song, filed a complaint in April with the prosecutors in Sokcho, Gangwon Province, where he lives.

Jo, who has painted professionally since 1990, allegedly used the assistant to produce more than 300 works that were sold under his name since 2009, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors allege that Jo defrauded buyers by pretending as if he had painted the works all by himself and selling them at a high price.

The prosecution office earlier brought in Jo for questioning, and also raided his office and galleries to collect evidence substantiating the allegations of fraud.

Jo acknowledged most of the related facts but downplayed the suspicions as "typical of the art industry" during questioning, according to prosecution sources.


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