Bithumb Chairman Faces 8-Year Prison Sentence in Fraud Case
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Prosecutors are seeking an eight-year prison term for Lee Jung-hoon, the former chairman of Bithumb, South Korea’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange.
The charges stem from an alleged fraud involving approximately $85 million, related to the deceptive handling of the cryptocurrency Bithumb Coin (BXA).
The Seoul High Court will review Jung-hoon’s case during the appeal hearing scheduled for January next year, following his acquittal in a lower court ruling.
The prosecution asserts that Jung-hoon misled BK Group Chairman Kim Byeong-gun regarding the listing of BXA on Bithumb. This deception led to substantial financial losses.
Bithumb Misinformation and Deceit
The prosecutors contend that Jung-hoon knew about the difficulties of listing the BXA coin but failed to inform the investors, thereby misleading them. They argue that his actions caused substantial damage to investors and exploited the significant information asymmetry for personal gain.
In contrast, Jung-hoon’s defense team has pointed out inconsistencies in the victim’s statements, suggesting that Kim Byeong-gun was aware of the challenges related to the BXA listing.
They contend that the original trial court questioned the credibility of Kim’s statements. Additionally, they argue that the indictment is based on flawed premises.
Jung-hoon’s Final Plea
In his final statement, Jung-hoon defended his actions, stating his belief in Kim’s ability to lead Bithumb effectively and grow the company. He maintained that he acted in good faith as a seller, fulfilling his responsibilities, and expressed frustration over delayed payments.
The case against Jung-hoon carries major implications for South Korea’s cryptocurrency industry. It raises crucial issues about transparency and trust in crypto exchanges.
The final verdict in this case is expected in January. It could set a precedent for how the legal system handles similar cases in the burgeoning digital currency market.
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