Bitsonic CEO Arrested On Alleged Fraud Charges

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South Korean authorities have arrested the CEO of the Bitsonic crypto exchange, Jinwook Shin, for allegedly stealing $7.5 million dollars of user funds. 

Embezzlement Allegations

Jinwook Shin was taken into custody by South Korean authorities on August 7th after an investigation uncovered that the CEO had been allegedly embezzling investments and deposits belonging to the exchange’s users during the time period between January 2019 and May 2021. 

According to the initial report, Shin allegedly engaged in fraudulent activities that manipulated cryptocurrency prices and trading volume on Bitsonic, which led to the misappropriation of approximately $7.5 million (10 billion won) from user funds. 

Liquidity Issues Leads To Shutdown

Despite facing liquidity problems and suspension of withdrawals on the crypto platform, Shin continued to provide cryptocurrencies to new customers. This persistence drew the attention of the Seoul cyber crime department, which alleged that Shin failed to purchase cryptocurrencies during this period, raising suspicions about the legitimacy of the exchange’s operations.

In August 2021, the platform finally announced the closure of its operations, attributing the decision to “internal and external issues.” 

This announcement was followed by the shutdown of 11 domestic cryptocurrency platforms by South Korean authorities, who were investigating alleged fraudulent activities.

Vice President Also Complicit

The investigation further implicated the vice president of Bitsonic, who is believed to have played a role in devising a scheme to acquire the cryptocurrencies held by the CEO within the exchange system. The VP, who is referred to as Mr. A, was allegedly working hand-in-hand with Shin to buy the cryptocurrency held by the latter on the exchange platform. A shell company established in Singapore was allegedly used in the process of manipulation.

Government’s Stance Against Fraud And Cybercrime

South Korean authorities have recently taken a tough stance against fraudulent activities within the digital asset industry. Last month, the Korea Securities Depository partnered with Code, a firm specializing in Travel Rules, to address the rise in unlawful activities within the virtual asset market. This partnership aims to promote the issuance and utilization of Legal Entity Identifiers (LEI) to enhance investor protection.

Additionally, the government has also been working on a crypto-tracking system, including an interagency investigation team, to counter cybercrime as a part of its commitment to ensuring the security and legitimacy of the cryptocurrency market.

As the investigation into the alleged embezzlement unfolds, South Korea’s proactive approach against fraudulent activities in the cryptocurrency sector continues to underscore the nation’s commitment to fostering a secure and trustworthy digital asset environment.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. 

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