The law enforcement agency of South Korea raided the offices of Korean Esports Association (KeSPA) earlier today for an ongoing investigation that involves bribery and embezzlement.
According to multiple reports, local newspapers “Korea Joongang Daily” and “The Hankyoreh” have confirmed that a former chairman is alleged to have accepted large payments from Lotte Homeshopping. The retail-giant was involved in at least two major corruption scandals last year, and the trail of money has now led prosecutors to the regional esports organization.
Three aides to the unnamed individual, which seems to be Jeon Byung-Hun, have been taken into custody for embezzling association funds. There are also charges of lobbying by the company to reelect the same chairman after Lottee Homeshopping sponsored the KeSPA Cup 2015 in a deal worth ₩300 million (approximately $270,000).
Lottee Homeshopping lost the rights to broadcast its own home-shopping show during prime-time viewing hours last year after it submitted false information in order to renew its business license. The chief executing officer of the company was, as a result, sentenced to 18 months in prison.
KeSPA has denied receiving any illegal money from the retailer, claiming that the sponsorship deal was legitimate. If the ongoing investigation proves otherwise, it will be a major blow to the image of the storied esports organization.