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Montenegro’s premier justice official has privately stated that the country is planning to send fallen crypto tycoon Do Kwon to the USA instead of South Korea to face criminal charges.
Do Kwon has been in a Montenegro prison since March and has been part of an international tug-of-war as both the USA and South Korea seek his extradition.
Do Kwon Could Be Extradited To The USA
Prosecutors in The United States of America and South Korea want to put Do Kwon on trial for fraud and violations of securities law. Do Kwon faces a plethora of charges in the USA, including commodities fraud, conspiracy to defraud, wire fraud, and securities fraud, along with civil charges. All of the charges are related to the collapse of Terraform Labs, which occurred in May 2022 after the TerraUSD stablecoin lost its $1 peg and fell to as low as 35 cents. Terra’s LUNA cryptocurrency, designed to stabilize the UST in the event of the stablecoin losing its peg, also collapsed, sending the UST into freefall.
Justice Minister To Have Final Say
Andrej Milovic, Montenegro’s justice minister, will have the final say regarding where Do Kwon will be extradited. The minister is not expected to announce his decision until Montenegro’s courts rule on a last-ditch appeal by Do Kwon against his extradition. Kwon has been camped in a Montenegro jail since March, when he was arrested in the country’s capital city. According to a tweet by the country’s interior minister, Filip Adzic, the fallen crypto tycoon was found carrying false documents.
Do Kwon and Terraform Labs CFO Han Chang Joon reportedly attempted to board a flight to Dubai using forged Costa Rican and Belgian passports.
Charges Against Do Kwon
Following his arrest, US prosecutors filed fresh charges against Do Kwon. The charges stated,
“Kwon agreed with others to defraud purchasers of cryptocurrencies issued by TFL, by deceiving those purchasers about the effectiveness of the algorithmic mechanism that purportedly ensured the stability of UST’s price through false statements and market manipulation.”
Last month, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission also brought a civil lawsuit against Do Kwon, alleging that he was the mastermind behind a multi-billion dollar crypto asset securities fraud. Kwon has repeatedly insisted that he is not on the run as the authorities claim. This is despite South Korean authorities stripping him of his passport and Interpol issuing a red corner notice against Do Kwon.
Kwon had explained the reason why he was reluctant to disclose the location of his whereabouts in a podcast in October 2022.
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