Crypto Exchange Operator Bithumb Investigated by South Korean Tax Authorities: Report

The former chairman of Bithumb Holdings, which operates a crypto exchange in the country, was recently acquitted of fraud charges.

AccessTimeIconJan 10, 2023 at 2:26 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 10, 2023 at 4:34 p.m. UTC

South Korea's tax authorities are probing Bithumb Holdings, the parent company of a crypto exchange based in the country, Yonhap News reported on Tuesday.

The National Tax Service is reportedly investigating possible tax evasion via domestic and international transactions of Bithumb Korea, Bithumb Holdings and affiliates. An official at the company confirmed the investigation to CoinDesk Korea, but declined to share details.

This is the second time the crypto enterprise has been subject to a tax investigation in South Korea. In 2018, Bithumb Korea was slapped with a multi-million-dollar bill for back taxes, although the investigation found the company wasn't guilty of tax evasion.

Bithumb Holdings recently made headlines over a case against its former chairman, Lee Jung-Hoon, who was acquitted of charges that he committed $100 million in fraud.

South Korean prosecutors have also questioned Kang Jong-hyun, another former chairman at Bithumb, and his younger sister, Kang Ji-yeon over an embezzlement case involving related companies, Yonhap reported.

Update (Jan. 10, 2023 15:21 UTC): Adds confirmation of the investigation as reported by CoinDesk Korea in the second paragraph.


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Sandali Handagama

Sandali Handagama is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for policy and regulations, EMEA. She does not own any crypto.