February 20, 2023 13:21
Do Kwon, the fugitive crypto bro behind the spectacular collapse of digital currency Luna, has around W300 billion worth of Bitcoins stashed away in a Swiss account, U.S. officials allege (US$1=W1,300).
The former CEO of Terraform Labs cashed in around W100 billion of the money while on the run from the law.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed formal charges against Kwon last Thursday saying he kept more than 10,000 Bitcoins in a "cold wallet," which is a way of holding cryptocurrency tokens offline.
The SEC believes Kwon transferred them to a Swiss bank account since May 2022 and exchanged some of them for cash. Currently, 10,000 Bitcoins is worth around W320 billion, and Kwon seems to have withdrawn more than $100 million since last June.
The Luna was designed to be linked to TerraUSD, a so-called stablecoin pegged to the dollar. At one time it was among the top 10 cryptocurrencies in the world, but it plummeted 99 percent in just a week when TerraUSD collapsed last May, wiping out W50 trillion.
More than 200,000 investors in Korea alone are thought to have lost all their money.
"We allege that Terraform and Do Kwon failed to provide the public with full, fair, and truthful disclosure as required for a host of crypto asset securities, most notably for Luna and TerraUSD," SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said in a statement. "We also allege that they committed fraud by repeating false and misleading statements to build trust before causing devastating losses for investors."
Kwon has been charged with similar offenses in Korea and an arrest warrant was issued last year. Korean police turned to Interpol, which issued a red notice for him.
Kwon is in Serbia, an international pariah state with no extradition treaties, but denies he is on the run. He headed there from Singapore via the UAE in April, just before his scheme went up in smoke. Prosecutors in Korea have sought the help of the Serbian government to investigate Kwon.
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