Do Kwon Faces Over 100-Year Sentence in US, 40-Year Sentence in Korea
The recent arrest of Do-hyung Kwon, the CEO of Terraform Labs, in Montenegro has brought to light his previous denial of U.S. jurisdiction while on the run. According to a report by YNA, Kwon may have denied U.S. jurisdiction out of consideration to reduce the severity of his future punishment.
Kwon was a key figure in the ‘Terra/Luna’ incident that caused a domino effect of the collapse of the value of cryptocurrency around the world. He delayed the deadline for submitting an appeal request to the effect of disobeying the summons order of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on August 18 last year to October 6 by 30 days, requested the U.S. Supreme Court.
It has been about a year since the SEC first delivered a subpoena to Kwon in person in New York, USA in September 2021 regarding Terraform Labs’ ‘Mirror Protocol’ app. In April of last year, a month before the Terra and Luna crash, Kwon left Korea and fled. It’s been 4 months since he started living as a fugitive.
In the documents submitted to the Supreme Court, Kwon’s attorney protested that the SEC’s personal jurisdiction was recognized by the 2nd Court of Appeal, even though Terraform is a Singapore corporation, and Kwon is a resident of Singapore. Kwon’s side insisted that the judgment of the court’s personal jurisdiction is broad and important, considering the digital market as well as the general context.
In the United States, it is possible to sentence more than 100 years in prison by adopting the judicial principle of adding up sentences for each individual crime. Meanwhile, in Korea, the maximum sentence for economic offenses is only about 40 years, and there are no standards and laws to determine whether cryptocurrency is securities or not.
Observers suggest that Kwon’s denial of U.S. jurisdiction could have been an attempt to secure the time needed to escape, while also lowering the severity of punishment in the future. However, Kwon is currently detained in Montenegro on suspicion of forged passports and is facing trial. His legal representative has refused to answer whether he wants to be extradited to South Korea or the United States, saying “no comment.”
The case of Kwon and Terraform Labs has sparked interest and raised questions regarding the jurisdiction of cryptocurrencies and economic offenses in different countries. As the case continues to unfold, it will be interesting to see how it will impact future regulations and legal processes related to cryptocurrencies.
As AZCoin News reported, Do Kwon was apprehended while trying to board a flight to Dubai using counterfeit Costa Rican passports. In addition, a false Belgian passport was discovered in his possessions. Interpol conducted an inquiry and found that passport forgery is a grave crime punishable by up to five years in prison in Montenegro.
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