A Seoul court on Thursday declared Shim Hyung-rae bankrupt, saying that the comedian-turned-director will be exempted from his debt if found to have no assets.
After receiving a suspended prison term in mid-January for failing to pay wages to former employees at his movie production company, the 55-year-old Shim filed for personal bankruptcy with the Seoul Central District Court on Jan. 30.
The court accepted the petition, allowing the former comedian to benefit from the state-run personal credit recovery program and helping Shim through write-offs.
“A trustee has been appointed (to Shim) to find out whether he has assets or property to realize,” a court official said, adding that the trustee will further investigate whether there are reasons to disqualify Shim from the debt exemption.
Shim, the head of Younggu-Art Entertainment, received a 10-month sentence, suspended for two years, and 80 hours of community service after being sued by former employees who demanded delayed monthly wages and severance pay.
Once an iconic slapstick comedian in the 1980s, Shim delved into film production in the 1990s but had mixed results.
His production company fell into heavy debt after his latest Hollywood-targeted film, “The Last Godfather (2010),” disappointed at the box office. (Yonhap News)