In a recent development, the CEO of Bitsonic, a prominent South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, has been handed a seven-year prison sentence for embezzling a staggering 10 billion won ($7.5 million) in customer deposits.
The court also sentenced the exchange’s tech chief, Jinwook Shin, to one year behind bars for his involvement in manipulating crypto prices and trading volumes, as well as stealing user investments.
The arrest of Shin, CEO of Bitsonic in early August sent shockwaves through the crypto community as he faced charges of fraud, forgery, and obstruction of business by computer. The accusations pointed to a scheme where Shin exploited his position to manipulate the system in his favor, adversely affecting Bitsonic users.
Adding to the complexity of the case, Bitsonic’s VP of technology, referred to as Mr. A, was indicted on charges of obstruction of business by computer. He allegedly played a role in creating and running a program that facilitated Shin’s illicit activities. The combined eight-year prison sentence for Shin and Mr. A highlights the severity of their actions.
The South Korean outlet Yonhap News reported on Wednesday that the court deemed Shin and Mr. A as “avoiding responsibility and showing no remorse.” Additionally, a significant portion of the embezzled funds remains unrecovered, deepening the impact on affected customers.
In response to the escalating crypto-related scandals, South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) has announced stricter regulations set to take effect in July. Under these new laws, crypto criminals could potentially face life sentences if found guilty, signaling a more robust stance against illicit activities within the cryptocurrency space.