Do Kwon could serve prison in both US and South Korea, prosecutor says

Thursday, 8 Jun 2023

Cointelegraph By Arijit Sarkar

Original Article

South Korean prosecutor Dan Sunghan says Kwon’s extradition to South Korea makes more sense but adds that the Terraform Labs co-founder could also serve time in the United States as well.


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Terraform Labs co-founder and CEO Do Kwon may be subject to multiple sentences in the United States and South Korea, according to a senior South Korean prosecutor heading the investigation.

It is understood that Kwon is currently serving house bail in Montenegro after having his bail proposal granted by a Montenegro court on June 5. Both Kwon and Terraform Labs’ chief financial officer, Han Chang-Joon, are legally required to reside at Chang-Joon’s legal residence in Montenegro while a decision about extradition is made.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Dan Sunghan revealed that Kwon’s extradition to South Korea made better sense “when it comes to bringing justice or recovering the damages for victims.”

South Korean senior prosecutor Dan Sunghan speaking about the possibility of Kwon facing multiple sentences across the U.S. and South Korea. Source: Bloomberg

According to Sunghan, most of the basic investigation around the collapse of the Terra ecosystem was done in South Korea. He further claimed local authorities have access to more evidence when compared to their American counterparts.

“The most efficient way to get justice is to have the investigation and trial take place in South Korea.”

Sunghan also stressed the fact that South Korean authorities have already indicted a number of Kwon’s co-conspirators.

However, when asked about the possibility of Kwon having to face a trial in both the U.S. and South Korea, Sunghan believed “such a scenario is an option.” A convict is subject to multiple cross-border sentences when they are yet to be prosecuted for some of the crimes in one of the jurisdictions, he explained.

Thus, Sunghan said if South Korean authorities don’t account for all the crimes Kwon is charged with within the U.S., then the entrepreneur could potentially be sent to the US for prosecution after serving his sentence in South Korea — which could be over 40 years alone.

The prosecutor expects Kwon’s sentence to be “the longest sentence ever handed down in South Korea.” Kwon’s cold wallet, which supposedly contains 10,000 Bitcoin (BTC), remains untraceable.

Sunghan confirmed that authorities can see funds being moved from the wallet in question. However, the location of the wallet and the process used to withdraw the funds remains a mystery.

“This is the largest financial fraud or financial securities fraud case that has ever happened in South Korea,” said Sunghan.

JUST IN: #DoKwon has been released on bail once again after Montenegro court dismisses prosecution appeal

— Crypto Rand (@crypto_rand)

June 5, 2023

Kwon was held by Montenegro authorities on March 23 after he was caught trying to fly out of the country using fake documents. Soon after, both the U.S. and South Korean authorities requested his extradition to their respective countries. According to South Korean prosecutor Dan Sunghan, some extradition requests can take up to nine months for processing.

Related: South Korea passes bill to make officials disclose Bitcoin holdings

Meanwhile, South Korean authorities have started reviewing Binance’s acquisition deals in the country after the crypto exchange got into a legal battle with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

A local report suggests that South Korea’s financial watchdog — the Financial Service Committee — is reviewing Binance’s acquisition of local crypto trading platform Gopax.

In its review of the Gopax deal, the FSC pointed out that Binance’s alleged securities law violations and requests from the SEC to freeze Binance.US assets make it difficult to accept the acquisition request at this point.


Cointelegraph By Arijit Sarkar

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