On April 19, Asia Economy Daily exclusively reported that Lee Soo Man paid Like Planning - his personal company in charge of producing SM artists' albums - over 10 billion KRW (9.4 million USD) in the past two years.
According to the report, SM Entertainment's payment to Like Planning increased each year. In 2014, it started off with 7.5 billion KRW (7 million USD) and the amount has surpassed 10 billion KRW as of now.
In addition, the payment regulations have changed in 2015. Like Planning is now able to take a royalty of up to 6% of the total sales, instead of taking up to 15% from only album sales.
The transactions from SM Entertainment to Like Planning was found to be suspicious, as Lee Soo Man seemed to be using the internal transaction for his personal benefit.
In response to the issue, SM Entertainment provided an official statement justifying the transactions.
The agency stated, "The producing contract with Like Planning is a crucial aspect in the growth of our global content and competitiveness. The partnership has been established since the beginning, and we have transparently revealed the contract and transactions before and after getting listed on KOSDAQ in 2000. We have thoroughly examined the contract with Like Planning by receiving consultation from professional third-party organizations in the similar global business, and the contract was signed on a fair standard. We announce that there were no legal issues or unlawful internal dealings."