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Crypto CEO Sentenced to 3-Year Jail Term for Faking Trading Volume

Two execs from South Korean crypto exchange Komid have been given jail time for faking trading volume and deceiving investors.

Jan 21, 2019 at 10:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:49 a.m. UTC

Two executives from South Korean crypto exchange Komid have been handed down jail time for faking trading volume and deceiving investors.

According to a report from CoinDesk Korea, the firm's CEO Hyunsuk Choi received a three-year sentence for his role in the crime, as well as for embezzlement. Another member of the team, Park Mo, got two years, according to local news source Blockinpress.

Choi, the court found, made a number of fake accounts on the exchange in January 2018, and, using a trading bot, made millions of false transactions with cryptocurrency and Korean won credit that did not actually exist.

The court – presided over by South Korea's top judge Ahn Seong-joon – also ruled that Choi had transferred bitcoin from the exchange to an external wallet, said CoinDesk Korea.

According to Blockinpress, which added that the crime brought in around $45 million in fees, the judge said:

"Choi has committed fraud for a countless number of victims for a long period of time ... Futhermore, he holds the financial authorities responsible for failing to keep track of the industry better."

Choi was reportedly arrested after the sentencing hearing.

In April, South Korean police detained four executives from two cryptocurrency exchanges over alleged embezzlement. One of those questioned was the CEO of Coinnest, while the identities of the other executives and the other exchange were not made public at the time.

Handcuffs  image via Shutterstock

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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