Bithumb owner to receive 8-year jail term for $70M fraud – local media
Lee Jung-hoon apologises for "making it difficult for employees and causing social pressure" as prosecution requests 8-year sentence
Lee Jung-hoon, the owner of the South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb, is facing up to eight years in prison on charges of fraud to the value of 100 billion won ($70 million), according to YNA.
Lee was indicted in July on fraud charges related to the failure to list the BXA token from Kim Byung Gun, chairman of BK Group.
Kim, one of Bithumb’s most significant investors, claimed that Lee presold BXA tokens but never listed the token, keeping the funds raised from private investors. Further, Kim claimed his investment in Bithumb was directly related to the promise to list BXA, a token issued by BK Group.
Lee is on trial under the “Act on the Aggravated Punishment of Specific Economic Crimes.” Prosecutors have requested an eight-year sentence for “stealing about 112 billion won as a down payment” from Kim.
The legal team for Lee argued that the process was well documented as,
“The structure of this case is a typical stock sale contract… The negotiation took place for 90 days.”
Further, the defense argued that the lawsuit against Lee was made “to avoid criminal responsibility for the investment victims” from Kim.
In a final statement, Lee declared that Bithumb was the “number one exchange” in Korea at the time of the event and then announced:
“I am very sorry for making it difficult for employees and causing social pressure.”
In response to the news, FatManTerra on Twitter argued that the Korean crypto scene is “so rife with corruption.” FatMan is likely referencing his experiences with Terra Luna and the controversy surrounding Do Kwon’s potential role in investors losing billions of dollars in the collapse of Terra Classic.
Wow, the Korean crypto scene is so rife with corruption.
— FatMan (@FatManTerra) October 25, 2022
YNA reported that the sentencing hearing would be held on December 20.