South Korean Authorities Seize $160 Million in Property Linked to Former Terra Employees

South Korean authorities have seized approximately 210 billion won ($160 million) worth of property linked to former Terra employees, mostly in the form of real estate, according to a report from South Korean news outlet KBS on April 3. The amount of compensation collected by the prosecution for the assets of Terraform Labs executives and employees charged with the virtual currency Terra and Luna incidents has now exceeded 200 billion won.

The Seoul Southern District Prosecutor’s Office’s financial and securities crime joint investigation team has collected and preserved 210 billion won in property, primarily in real estate, to recover undue gains from eight people, including Terraform Labs co-founder Shin Hyun-seong, the former CEO of Chai Corporation. The preservation of collection is a measure that prevents suspects from arbitrarily disposing of assets suspected of being criminal proceeds during the trial.

An official from the prosecution stated that they are still investigating the property ownership status of the suspects and plan to carry out collection preservation for the confirmed property in the future to recover the proceeds of crime and damages. In November 2022, the prosecution had seized former CEO Shin’s home in Seongsu-dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, and so far, collected and preserved about 100 billion won of former CEO Shin’s property.

Prosecutors are currently looking at the amount of undue gains Shin made while operating Terra and Luna at 154.1 billion won and will also track down hidden assets and freeze them. Former CEO Shin is known to have unfairly earned 140 billion won by purchasing Luna inexpensively before it was officially issued and selling it expensively, but the amount of unfair gains has increased by about 10 billion won.

In addition, the prosecution determined that the amount of unfair profits earned by the seven Terra employees, excluding former CEO Shin, amounted to KRW 169 billion, of which KRW 114 billion was collected and preserved. The prosecution also seized the houses and lands of Terraform Labs-affiliated CEO Kim Mo and former Terraform Labs executive A, considered the criminal proceeds of the two to be 79.1 billion won and 40.9 billion won, respectively, and is proceeding with collection and preservation measures.

Representative Shin and others are accused of designing the Terra business, holding virtual currencies issued before and after the business started, and making unfair profits by selling them when the price rises. The authorities are taking strong measures to recover the proceeds of crime and damages and to prevent the suspects from disposing of their assets before the trial.

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