CEO of Korean chain Coffeesmith sentenced for threatening celebrity ex


South Korean actress Kim Jung-min claimed she had been blackmailed by coffee chain owner Son Tae-young several times following their breakup in 2014.
South Korean actress Kim Jung-min claimed she had been blackmailed by coffee chain owner Son Tae-young several times following their breakup in 2014. PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/KIMJUNGMIN0111

SEOUL (The Korea Herald/ ANN) - The chief executive officer of a popular South Korean coffee chain has been given a suspended jail sentence for threatening his former girlfriend.

Seoul Central District Court said on Wednesday (July 18) that it had sentenced Coffeesmith chief Son Tae-young, 49, to a year in prison, suspended for two years, and 120 hours of community service for threatening 29-year-old Kim Jung-min.

On July 11 last year, Son was prosecuted without detention after the actress filed a report to the police in April 2017. Kim, who has appeared in K-dramas such as Shut Up Flower Boy Band (2012), claimed she had been blackmailed by Son several times following their breakup in 2014.

Son sent Kim text messages from December 2014 to January 2015 asking her to give him 100 million won (S$120,000) and return all gifts and money she had received.

He reportedly threatened to publicly damage her reputation with video clips and accuse her of being a gold digger. Son continued to intimidate his ex-girlfriend into giving him 1 billion won in cash.

In Wednesday's sentencing, the judge said Son's text messages suggest he was not seeking to secure financial gain, but trying to harm the victim.

The sentence was handed down in consideration of a settlement reached while the trial was underway. In this settlement, Son agreed to give Kim 350 million won.

The Korea Times reported last year that Coffeesmith has 50 outlets in South Korea and had annual sales of 13 billion won in 2015.