According to local news outlet infomax.co.kr, the South Korean prosecutor’s office requested an arrest warrant for Kang Jong-Hyun, the president and current owner of cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb, on Jan. 25. Jong-Hyun is wanted for alleged embezzlement related to his activities on the exchange.
The same day, The 2nd Financial Investigation Division of the Seoul Southern District Prosecutor’s Office convicted Kang and two Bithumb executives of embezzlement and breach of trust under the Law on Aggravated Punishment for Specific Economic Crimes. The executives were also charged with conducting fraudulent illegal transactions under the Capital Markets Law.
Cointelegraph previously reported on Jan. 10 that Bithumb had been the subject of a “special tax investigation” by the country’s National Tax Service. Simultaneously to the incident, Jong-Hyun is under investigation for his role in allegedly manipulating the share prices of Bithumb subsidiaries Inbiogen and Bucket Studio through the issuance of convertible bonds.. Seer is currently the largest shareholder in Bithumb, with a 34.2% stake.
On December 30, 2022, Bithumb’s largest shareholder, Park Mo, was found dead in front of his own home following investigations into his alleged role in embezzlement from Bithumb-related companies. It is suspected that Mr. Mo may have taken his own life due to the nature of the criminal charges that had been brought against him.
Later, Lee Jung-Hoon, former Chairman of Bithumb, was found not guilty of a $70 million fraud indictment in connection with his activities on Bithumb. The exchange is one of the largest in South Korea, with a 24-hour trading volume of $467 million.
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