|YG Entertainment founder Yang Hyun-suk. Korea Times file|
By Lee Min-young
YG Entertainment founder Yang Hyun-suk is suspected of trying to evade taxes fraudulently, with family members also implicated in the controversy surrounding Seoul nightclub Love Signal, which some believe Yang owns.
A report on local news outlet Kukinews on March 6 raised the possibility of tax evasion, claiming Yang owned the club in the Hongdae area in Mapo-gu district.
The report said the club was unlawfully registered as a restaurant, giving the show business mogul enormous tax benefits. A venue registered as a restaurant must pay 10 percent tax on profits, whereas entertainment establishments must pay 13 percent, according to Korea's Food Sanitation Act.
Another local news outlet revealed that while Yang had owned 70 percent shares of stock in a corporation that owned the club as of December 2016, his younger brother Min-suk reportedly owned the rest of the shares at the same time. The name of the corporation has not been revealed.
Yang's brother-in-law, former K-pop star Lee Jae-jin from boy band Sechskies, also reportedly was executive director of the club-owning firm until 2016.
Established in 2017, the club was originally registered as "Club X" until August 2018. Seungri, a former member of the agency's once-signature K-pop boy band BigBang, is widely believed to own the club.
Seungri, who is mired in a massive sex video-sharing scandal involving a list of Korean celebrities as sharers of illicit videos, had promoted the club on Instagram in 2017 when he posted photos of the club after it opened.
As of Friday, YG had not made an official response to the tax-dodging allegations against Yang.