Prosecutors want to put ‘fake’ crypto exchange bosses behind bars for life in Legal First
The seven alleged ringleaders behind VGglobal, an allegedly high-profile South Korean crypto exchange that allegedly attracted some 52,419 investors to South Korea to the tune of $2 billion, could be sentenced to life in prison, marking another legal first for fraudsters operating in the sector. .
KBS reported that prosecutors asked the judge to hand down all seven life sentences, in addition to fines ranging from $103.4 million (for mastermind and CEO) to $2 million for senior executives. . The outlet added that it is extremely rare for prosecutors in financial fraud cases to seek life sentences. Such a case, however, would be even rarer than that: it would be without legal precedent in the crypto sector.
In 2016, a mastermind of a conventional financial fraud ring was sentenced to 25 years for creating a scam of similar scope.
The allegedly fake exchange ostensibly looked like any other South Korean crypto trading platform, with flashy, professional-looking website prices for coins like bitcoin (BTC), government warnings about the risks of crypto trading and other carefully crafted details. A well-staffed office in an affluent area of the country’s unofficial tech capital, Suwon, also helped lend a veneer of authenticity – but, according to a branch of the Suwon District Court, prosecutors believe it all was just a facade.
The court heard testimony from investors and prosecutors who explained that behind the pretense of being just another South Korean exchange, VGlobal was in fact a multi-level marketing pyramid scam that promised investors outrageous profits for ” recruit” new members on the platform.
Investors were informed that they would receive the exchange’s own coins whenever a new token was listed on the platform. But last year the police intervened, after a group of disgruntled investors came forward, saying they had been unable to withdraw their funds from the VGlobal platform.
Customers were also told they would need to invest at least $15,200 to “join” the exchange, the court heard – promising them “guaranteed” triple rewards “within months”.
The assets were frozen and seized and police raided a number of premises as part of their investigation, including the offices of VGlobal and a property belonging to the company’s CEO.
The CEO, identified by the court only by his surname (Lee), denied all charges and claimed he was trying to pay off investors.
VGlobal did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Cryptonews.com, and its website has been offline for several weeks. A group of investors earlier this month asked the court to impose maximum applicable sentences.
Prosecutors told the judge that Lee and his associates preyed on vulnerable victims, such as the elderly and young, and left a trail of “severe” psychological and economic damage in their wake.
Prosecution attorneys reportedly said:
“The [group] took advantage of an atmosphere of heightened speculative sentiment due to a surge in global virtual currency prices to deceive the elderly […] and young people who had difficulty finding a job. They committed a series of systematic and planned crimes and spread false information as part of their strategy. »
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