LIFE&STYLE

Cho Young-nam indicted without detention on fraud charges

By Lee Woo-young
  • Published : Jun 14, 2016 - 18:06
  • Updated : Jun 14, 2016 - 18:06

Singer-artist Cho Young-nam, who has been in hot water since May over allegations he hired a ghost painter for several years to create his paintings, was indicted without detention on fraud charges Tuesday, according to the Chuncheon Supreme Prosecutors’ Office.

Cho is accused of allegedly having two ghost painters create his paintings, well known for motifs of Korean folk card game Go-Stop, from about five years ago and selling them without informing his buyers of the fact. His manager was also indicted without detention on fraud charges.   

Cho Young-nam (Yonhap)

The prosecutors’ office launched an investigation in April shortly after one of Cho’s ghost painters filed a case with the Chuncheon Supreme Prosecutors’ Office. The investigation found that Cho had placed painting orders with two ghost painters. When the paintings were shipped to Cho, Cho added slight touches to them before having them shown in public exhibitions. The prosecutors also deemed that the painters could not be seen merely as Cho’s assistants.

One of the ghost artists claimed that he painted some 200 to 300 paintings based on Cho’s requests. Prosecutors confirmed that 83 paintings went on exhibition at 12 galleries, of which 33 were sold.

Meanwhile, the Korean Fine Arts Association and the Korea Professional Artists Association, filed suit against Cho on Tuesday for defamation over his remarks that hiring assistant painters is a common practice in the art world.

“Cho has caused huge damage to the honor of many artists by saying that hiring assistants is a common practice in the art world,” their statement read.

By Lee Woo-young (wylee@heraldcorp.com)