7 Crypto Exchange Executives Handed Prison Sentences for $1.7B Fraud in South Korea: Report

The exchange's former CEO was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Feb 11, 2022 at 2:02 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 11, 2022 at 6:27 p.m. UTC

Eliza Gkritsi is CoinDesk's crypto mining reporter based in Asia.

Seven executives of South Korean crypto exchange V Global were sentenced to prison for a 2 trillion-won ($1.7 billion) fraud, according to media reports on Friday.

  • Former V Global CEO Lee Byung-gul was sent to prison for 22 years and ordered to pay a 106.4 billion-won fine by a court in Suwon, in the country's south, CoinDesk Korea reported. Authorities seized 10 billion won from Lee's account at the exchange, according to the report. Another six executives were handed prison sentences of four to 14 years and fines ranging from 2.3 billion won to 106.4 billion won, the report said.
  • S. Korea has been deploying a regulatory framework for crypto since the first half of 2021. Lawmakers have also called for market manipulation to become a crime in the country.
  • V Global only accepted users that deposited over 6 million won in the exchange, and promised them that it would triple their investment, returning 18 million won in V Cash, the exchange's own crypto token, Forkast reported. V Global also gave investors a 1.2 million-won commission for referring new users, according to Forkast.
  • The court said the exchange had defrauded over 50,000 investors, some of whom lost their retirement funds. While some received returns on their investments, those funds were taken from other users' deposits, according to Forkast.
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Eliza Gkritsi is CoinDesk's crypto mining reporter based in Asia.

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Eliza Gkritsi is CoinDesk's crypto mining reporter based in Asia.

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