Former Bithumb Chair Faces 8-year Imprisonment

Former Bithumb Chair Faces 8-year Imprisonment – Lee Jeong-hoon, the ex-chair of Bithumb, a prominent South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, is embroiled in a legal dispute and could potentially receive an eight-year prison term. The verdict is slated for January 18, 2024. Prosecutors allege that Lee Jeong-hoon aimed to restructure Bithumb’s governance to profit from exchange coins, sidestepping financial regulations.

As per reports from Korean local media, prosecutors argue that Lee aimed to overhaul Bithumb’s governance to profit from exchange tokens, bypassing financial regulations. The case, which originated in October 2018, involves allegations that the former chair fraudulently obtained 100 billion won ($70 million) during negotiations for Bithumb’s acquisition from Kim Byung-gun, the chair of the cosmetic surgery company BK Group. 

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Prosecutors assert that Lee was aware of challenges related to the BXA token listing but did not disclose this information to Kim. Despite listing issues, Lee allegedly received payments without informing Kim about the decision not to list the BXA token. South Korean prosecutors have sought an eight-year prison term for Lee. In his defense, Lee contests the allegations, highlighting inconsistencies in Kim’s statements and casting doubt on his reliability. 

Lee asserts Kim’s competence to lead Bithumb, maintaining that Kim was kept informed about the BXA token listing’s progress. Lee is entangled in legal troubles concerning accusations of violating the Act on Aggravated Punishment for Specified Economic Crimes, with a focus on fraud. The outcome of Lee’s ongoing appeal could establish a precedent for legal proceedings concerning cryptocurrency exchanges and governance. 

This development aligns with Bithumb’s plans for an initial public offering on Kosdaq by 2025. The appeal’s result will have a profound impact on Bithumb’s future and the destiny of BXA tokens. A guilty verdict may prompt a reevaluation of governance structures in cryptocurrency exchanges, potentially leading to heightened regulatory scrutiny.

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As the cryptocurrency community and investors await the appeal’s resolution, the case underscores the dynamic nature of the industry and emphasizes the need for well-defined regulatory frameworks to address governance issues and maintain trust among investors and stakeholders.

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