SEOUL: The disgraced former crypto titan Do Kwon may spend most of his life behind bars, first in his native South Korea and then in the United States, according to a scenario laid out by a senior prosecutor in the Asian nation.
Both countries are seeking Kwon’s extradition on charges linked to the collapse of digital tokens he created, an implosion that blew up at least US$40bil (RM184bil). The 31-year-old was arrested in Montenegro in March, ending a spell as a fugitive.
It’s possible for a person to be tried and sentenced in both jurisdictions on distinct charges, starting with South Korea, said Dan Sunghan, who heads the probe into the fallen entrepreneur.
Dan is the director of the financial crime investigation bureau at the Seoul southern district prosecution service.
The person could then “be extradited to the United States and face trial there, and then have the sentence executed in South Korea and the United States after that,” 49-year-old Dan said in an interview with Bloomberg News.
He expects Kwon to get a record domestic sentence for a financial fraud case, exceeding four decades.
Defence lawyer Branko Andjelic, who has acted for Kwon in Montenegro, couldn’t be reached via phone for comment about the scenario laid out by Dan.
Kwon co-founded Terraform Labs Pte, which developed a stablecoin called TerraUSD that was meant to have a constant US$1 (RM4.60) value via a mix of algorithms and trader incentives involving a sister token, luna. The edifice fell apart in May 2022, exacerbating a crypto-market rout and contributing to the downfall of a range of digital-asset outfits.
Terraform Labs didn’t immediately reply to an email seeking comment about Dan’s views on the case. — Bloomberg