South Korean Bithumb owner arrested for embezzlement
For alleged embezzlement, police in South Korea arrested Kang Jong-hyun, the suspected owner of Bithumb, the country's largest cryptocurrency exchange. Kang was charged with stock manipulation and theft totaling 60 billion won from his company.
According to local media reports, Kang Jong-hyun, the presumed owner of Bithumb, South Korea's largest cryptocurrency exchange, was detained on 2 February on suspicion of alleged embezzlement. The businessman was issued an arrest warrant last week by the Seoul Southern District Court on charges of neglect of duty, market manipulation, and fraudulent transactions. Jo Mo, the affiliated company representative listed as an assistant, was also taken into custody.
Kang was charged with stealing 60 billion won from his business and planning to manipulate stock prices with a business partner. He is Kang Ji-Yeon's brother and leader of Bithumb affiliate Inbiogen. The majority of Vidente, the biggest shareholder in Bithumb with a 34.2% stake, is owned by the company.
According to the prosecution, the brothers allegedly conspired to steal company funds and manipulate stock prices at Inbiogen and the video production company Bucket Studio by issuing convertible bonds. The CEO of Bucket Studio, Kang Ji-yeon, expressed regret to the stockholders. He did admit that the allegations against his brother were “unconfirmed,” though. Finally, he pledged to assist law enforcement.
The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the nation was the subject of an earlier investigation by the South Korean National Tax Service agency. The investigation team reportedly searched Bithumb's Seoul headquarters as part of the ongoing tax investigation. Park Mo, the biggest shareholder in Bithumb, was discovered dead in front of his house in December 2022.
Additionally, he was being looked into for alleged theft and market manipulation. Because of the accusations against him, it was believed that Park Mo had killed himself. Bithumb has a daily trading volume of about $350 million, according to CoinGecko. The most popular trading pair on the exchange, BTC/KRW, is one of the 287 trading pairs it supports.
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