Celebrity health expert called a fake

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Celebrity health expert called a fake

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It turns out Yun Suk-mo, a public figure with multiple TV appearances and a perfect resume that included a degree from two elite schools from Korea and the U.S., is neither a doctor nor a health expert.

The Dongbu Police Precinct in Yongin, Gyeonggi, reported Thursday they booked Yun for fraud without physical detention.

The 67-year-old self-proclaimed doctor is charged with faking his identity as a doctor at the country’s prestigious university medical school. He gave over 50 lectures over a period of six years, from March 2006 until last August, raking in more than 80 million won ($74,273).

While publishing books and appearing on TV programs about health, the confident-looking Yun introduced himself as a graduate of the Harvard School of Public Health with a degree from the medical school of Seoul National University.

Yun’s rise to fame began when he submitted his fraudulent resume in 2005 to the state-run Korean Human Development Institute, which connects those wishing to begin lecturing with such events.

With his fraudulent and too-good-to-be true resume, coupled with his competent speaking skills, Yun became a frequent TV program guest on major broadcasting networks such as KBS and MBC. Taking advantage of his TV appearances, he became a popular lecturer on public health.

During a high point in his career, the swindler received 1.87 million won for a one-hour lecture and opened a health clinic in Gangnam District, southern Seoul.

Yun’s success story came to an end when an anonymous source tipped off the police that he was a fake early this year.

The police found out the only medical education the suspect had was his participation in a six-month health care program course run by Seoul National University’s graduate school of public health, which admits anyone who applies for the program.

The authorities also said Yun’s claim that he studied at Harvard University is also false. It turned out he just visited the elite school for five days.

Yun wasn’t available for comment when the JoongAng Ilbo tried to reach him.

“Yun acknowledged all the accusations brought against him,” said a police official involved in the case.


By Choi Mo-ran [jkkang2@joongang.co.kr]

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