Dispatch has revealed how Song Ji Hyo is owed ₩900 million KRW (about $671,000 USD) and yet Uzurocks‘ CEO is spending company money on his Porsche lease while his employees make barely over minimum wage and aren’t even getting paid.
In an exclusive report from Dispatch, they outlined just how much of an issue Uzurocks’ CEO Park Joo Nam is causing, both to Song Ji Hyo herself and the company’s employees. So far, Uzurocks has delayed their payment to Song Ji Hyo eight different times — their “promised” payment dates were February 10, February 12, February 28, March 10, March 31, April 10, and April 30. The latest update to the payment date is now June, but is likely to be delayed again. Song Ji Hyo is currently owed ₩900 million KRW (about $671,000 USD) but it’s the company employees who are hurt even more at the moment. Song Ji Hyo even spoke up herself about how she is okay with waiting, but her company’s employees are suffering from the greed of the CEO.
I will be fine, even if I don’t get that money right now. But the employees at the company have become credit delinquents, their credit cards have been declined, and their cell phone plans were cut off.
[Park Joo Nam’s] Porsche lease fee is ₩2.00 million KRW (about $1,490 USD) per month, which is a luxury, but the employees’ salary is also about ₩2.00 million KRW (about $1,490 USD) per month, and that is their livelihood,
— Song Ji Hyo
Due to this, Song Ji Hyo spoke up. Not only are there issues with Uzurocks not paying Song Ji Hyo, but also how the company is entrenched in fraudulent business deals and in the end, everyone suffered due to Park Joo Nam’s lies.
Park Joo Nam drives a Porsche to and from work. From head to toe, he is dressed in luxury. He lies to those around him, claiming he is worth tens of billions of won. However, the reality is that he is in debt, lots of debt. He has not paid his company staff and also has not reimbursed any expenses that his staff had incurred due to work-related business.
Uzurocks was established in 2019, primarily focusing on social media content through platforms sucha s YouTube and TikTok. Park Joo Nam himself entered the entertainment industry through a celebrity connection as he was close with former S#arp member Lee Ji Hye, who now promotes primarily as a television personality.
Park Joo Nam ended up expanding Uzurocks into a multifacted company, not only being involved in the entertainment industry but also beauty, theme parks, albums, and even the fitness industry. However, all of his business ventures have ultimately led to deficits, deficits, and more deficits. Uzurocks has no capital, having a net profit ratio of -72.42% for fiscal year 2021 (this means that their expenses are 72.42% more than their revenue). Even worse, the company’s debt ratio is a whopping 214,820%. (this means that if the company’s assets are $100, they have $214,820 in liabilities).
Park Joo Nam needed more and more money, so he started posting news of outside companies investing into Uzurocks online. There were posts such as how Naver invested ₩10.0 billion KRW (about $7.45 million USD) into Uzurocks and how Uzurocks partnered with Golfzon GDR.
Dispatch contacted both Naver and Golfzon, with both companies denying they ever partnered with Uzurocks.
This is fake news. We will take action against the company.
We have delivered GDR products to them, but there has never been a separate business deal.
Uzurocks even ended up in hot water with their fitness business, scamming their gym members of their money. It is estimated that 600 members of their gym suffered financial damages, including the staff of the gym. Dispatch was able to visit a branch of the gym in the Wirye district of Seoul, where a victim spoke briefly to Dispatch.
Would you have ever imagined that a company that has Song Ji Hyo would take the gym membership fees from their members?
Song Ji Hyo the victim
Since the signing of her exclusive contract with Uzurocks in October 2022, Song Ji Hyo has not been paid. Dispatch has confirmed that the amount she is owed is around ₩900 million KRW (about $671,000 USD). This amount does not include what she is paid for appearing in Running Manas she receives that directly from SBS.
The way that Uzurocks’ managers go about their business is different from most agencies. The manager will first spend money for purchases or necessities on their personal card and then request for a reimbursement from the company. Most other companies offer a company card to use for expenses.
Managers had to charge their work expenses to their personal cards. With a personal credit card limit of ₩1.00 million KRW (about $745 USD), some managers had to now account for gasoline, food, and drink expenses in addition to their own personal expenses when they were not working. Even with all of this, Uzurocks did not reimburse their employees properly.
When Song Ji Hyo found out about this, she took action, especially after hearing that one of her employees was not able to pay off their credit card debt on time.
Song Ji Hyo gave me her card. I paid for on-site expenses using her card.
— Uzurocks employee
Eventually, Song Ji Hyo chose to take legal action and sent five requests for payment to the company. The company each time replied that they needed more time to come up with the money, using excuses such as “we will send it soon,” “the company bank account is frozen,” “we will receive an investment from abroad soon,” or “the investors have arrived in Korea now.” But each time, no money was paid and on April 27, Park Joo Nam suddenly resigned. Song Ji Hyo filed her lawsuit against the company on May 2.
The exploited employees
Dispatch met up with six Uzurocks employees (referred to as A, B, C, D, E, and F) ranging in age from their 20s to 30s. The average annual salary for the six employees is ₩27.0 million KRW (about $20,100 USD). Just to note, the minimum wage in Korea is currently ₩9,620 KRW (about $7.17 USD) per hour, which means the yearly minimum wage for a full time job is ₩24.1 million KRW (about $18,000 USD). However, the amount the employees actually received averaged to around ₩2.00 million KRW (about $1,490 USD). Most of the employees were new to the working life.
In February, some of the employees received a note of arrears. The message was that the company did not pay into the national pension (in Korea, employers are required to contribute 50% to an employee’s national pension. The employee contributes 4.5% of their salary and the company contributes 4.5% of their salary). The employees shared how they suffered due to Uzurocks’ inability to pay them on time.
I couldn’t live properly because my salary was not paid on time. My credit card bill was overdue and I had to cancel my installment savings account. I also had to ask my parents for money.
— Employee “A”
I couldn’t pay my credit card bill because I did not get my salary. Later, even my transportation cards were suspended. I even received a notice that my property would be seized from the credit card company.
— Employee “B”
Dispatch also noted that employee “B” had to also pay for medicine every month due to a chronic illness, but was forced to have their utility fees and interest payments delayed due to the necessity of their medicine and doctor visits. Ultimately, employee “B” collapsed and their mother had to pay for the hospital fees.
I lived with the help of my parents. When I asked why my salary payment was delayed, they told me it was because the company is still growing. A bit later, I was laid off.
They said investment money would come in from Italy. The investors also participated in the management of the company though and asked for layoffs. They said it would be more profitable to use an outsourcing company instead.
— Employee “C”
The stories told by employees “D” and “E” are similar in content. They shared how Song Ji Hyo would help contribute by allowing them to use her own credit card for expenses when their personal cards were blocked. When Song Ji Hyo raised an issue, the employees got some of their money paid, but are still missing some of the money they are owed for their work in April.
Song Ji Hyo, taking care of her company employees right until the end
Song Ji Hyo’s representative thanked Dispatch for listening to the stories of the employees who suffered at the hands of Uzurocks, and expressed their wishes that they receive the salary they worked hard to earn.
The employees also shared stories about how Song Ji Hyo personally helped them during their times of financial crisis.
Last year, I was in an accident. I had two surgeries and the hospital bill came out to over ₩10.0 million KRW (about $7,450 USD). I wasn’t able to do my job from home, but Song Ji Hyo paid for my hospital bill.
Because of Covid-19, my caregiver was unable to visit me at the time. But Song Ji Hyo came at night to talk to me. She was next to me when I was admitted to the emergency room and next to me again when I was discharged. The doctors were all surprised.
— Employee “A”
Song Ji Hyo always paid for the taxi fare after the conclusion of a schedule. When a manager was busy, she would drive us to the next schedule herself. To me, she wasn’t a celebrity, but an older sister.
— Employee “F”
In the end, Song Ji Hyo’s side wrapped up by saying that they hope that this issue will be properly resolved.