- South Korean prosecutors seek a minimum 8-year jail term for the ex-Bithumb Chairman, Lee Jung-hoon.
- Lee Jung-hoon is accused of frauding BK Group Chairman Kim Byeong-gun worth 110 billion won.
- The fraud centers around the agreement for joint management of Bithumb and the listing of BXA.
Under the charge of Judge Seo Seung-ryeol, Seoul High Court’s 5th Criminal Division went through an appeal hearing regarding the 110 billion won fraud case against the former chairman of Bithumb Lee Jung-hoon. Although the prosecution failed to charge Lee for the first time, they asked the judge to reconsider the initial hearing and pushed for an 8-year prison term.
The news about the charges on ex-Bithumb Chairman Lee Jung-hoon was reported by the Chinese Reporter Wu Blockchain on the X platform (formerly called Twitter).
The chairman of BK Group, Kim Byeong-gun, paid a “contract fee” of 110 billion won($85 million) to Lee with an agreement. The agreement stated that Kim and Lee would jointly manage the new consortium BTHMB. Furthermore, the deal required Lee to list BXB (Bithumb coin) on Bithumb. Things turned worse when the listing of BXB on Bithumb fell through and the failure of BK Group’s acquisition of Bithumb. The prosecution said,
The defendant planned to change the governance structure to a structure where a foreign company controls Bithumb in order to avoid financial authority regulations and make profits through exchange coins.
The prosecution claimed that Lee was aware of the challenges involved in the listing of BXB but failed to mention these to the client. On behalf of Kim, the prosecutor also mentioned that when challenges arose, Lee did not attempt to resolve them and decided not to list BXB. Further, the prosecutor said that Lee received a second down payment and additional collateral without informing them about the underlying issues, which is an act of intentionally deceiving the defendant.
In response to these allegations, the defense questioned Chairman Kim’s credibility. They also pointed out that Kim knew about the difficulties involved in the listing of BXB when he inquired about the progress of the listing with the Financial Supervisory Service in January 2019. Lee added, “I am very sorry for making it difficult for employees and causing social pressure.”