Bithumb’s Former Chairman Found Not Guilty by Seoul Court

UTC by Benjamin Godfrey · 3 min read
Bithumb’s Former Chairman Found Not Guilty by Seoul Court
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When Terraform Labs and its associated tokens collapsed, Bithumb was one of the exchanges that were raided by the authorities in the search for evidence that could help the investigation.

Bithumb’s former Chairman Lee Jung-Hoon of the South Korean cryptocurrency trading platform has been declared not guilty of fraud charges dating back to 2018 in relation to the acquisition of the exchange from Kim Byung-Gun. The Not Guilty verdict was pronounced at the Seoul Central District Court’s 34th Division of the Criminal Agreement.

The verdict on the Bithumb’s former chairman puts an end to the legal strain on Jung-Hoon whose trial was focused on allegations of the violation of the Act on the Aggravated Punishment Of Specific Economic Crimes due to fraud. The sum in question was pegged at around 100 billion won ($70 million) and had he been found guilty, he would have been sentenced to 8 years in prison.

Like the United States, South Korea has seen a number of high-profile legal cases involving cryptocurrency entities over the past few years. Known as one of the most vibrant crypto hubs in the Asian region, South Korea boasts of exchanges like Bithumb that have been under the constant watch of regulators for scores of misconduct.

Bithumb as an exchange has come out to accept the verdict of the court and the trading platform reiterated that while the legal case involving its brand name is over, Jung-Hoon no longer plays an active role in the daily operations of the platform. According to the exchange, it has been under the directives of “Professional Managers” for some time now.

The discharge of Jung-Hoon speaks to the flexibility of the South Korean justice system and the decision comes barely a week after another Bithumb-linked executive committed suicide following allegations of embezzlement and manipulation of stock prices. As reported by Cointelegraph, the executive, Park Mo, who doubles as Bithumb’s largest shareholder was found dead in his home.

Bithumb and Impossible Situations

While not the biggest trading platform in South Korea, in reality, Bithumb has found itself in many impossible situations over the past years with respect to its visible engagement in the digital currency ecosystem.

When Terraform Labs and its associated tokens collapsed, Bithumb was one of the exchanges that were raided by the authorities in the search for evidence that could help the investigation into the startup at the time. The raid was not necessarily new to Bithumb as the exchange had recorded more than two police raids in less than three years as authorities cracked down on its operations across the board.

The not-guilty verdict received by Lee Jung-Hoon comes off as one visible win for the exchange in recent times. While it is unclear whether Jung-Hoon’s attornies did a good job or not, the exchange’s former chairman may now focus on his health as he reportedly missed a Parliamentary Hearing back in October last year as he said he had a mental health disorder at the time.

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Benjamin Godfrey

Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalist who relishes writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desire to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain media and sites.

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