Entertainer jailed for blackmail, fraud

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Entertainer jailed for blackmail, fraud

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Kang Byung-kyu

Former baseball player and TV personality Kang Byung-kyu has been found guilty of a string of crimes including blackmailing actor Lee Byung-hun, attacking crew members on the set of Lee’s drama “Iris,” and defrauding a jeweler.

The Seoul Central District Court handed Kang a two and a half year prison sentence on Friday. A year and a half was for fraud, and another year with three years probation was added for trying to blackmail Lee.

In 2009, Kang teamed up with Lee’s ex-girlfriend and tried to extort money from the Hallyu star by threatening to expose details of his love life. Then, in 2010, he took to the set of Lee’s drama “Iris” and assaulted crew members after being accused of manipulating the ex.

In an unrelated incident, the former athlete borrowed three watches worth a total of 62 million won ($56,549) from a jeweler and failed to return or pay for the items. Kang had also borrowed 300 million won from a friend and failed to pay it back.

Although he remained in custody after the trial, Kang said he’d challenge the verdict.
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