Do Kwon Faces Extradition To U.S. And South Korea

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is seeking Kwon’s extradition to the United States

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Do Kwon, a co-founder of Terra who may have been the catalyst for the cryptocurrency crash last year and who was positively not on the run, was finally apprehended on Thursday. Several countries, including Montenegro, South Korea, and the United States, are now interested in the failed crypto founder, making him a far more valuable commodity than any cryptocurrency he’s recently tried to promote.

According to Nicholas Biase, the public affairs chief for the Southern District of New York, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is seeking Kwon’s extradition to the United States.

Following Kwon’s arrest at the Podgorica airport by Montenegrin authorities on Thursday, federal prosecutors in New York indicted him on new charges of commodities fraud, securities fraud, and wire fraud. This was all in relation to his time promoting the Terra/Luna crypto ecosystem, which eventually crashed in May of last year.

The allegations specifically state that Kwon misled clients and investors regarding the number of people utilizing the Terra blockchain ecosystem in interviews and social media posts. Although Terraform Labs simply duplicated the payment system on its own blockchain, a recent complaint from the Securities and Exchange Commission claimed Kwon had lied about how the crypto ecosystem was being used on a well-known South Korean payment app. Kwon is accused by the SEC of living large after sending 10,000 bitcoin to an unidentified Swiss bank.

International police service Interpol had previously issued a red notice for Kwon, and police have been trying to track his movements for months. His arrest was confirmed to CNN on Thursday by Interpol.

Considering that Kwon is now in custody of the police, Montenegro has accused him and a second, as of yet unidentified suspect, of falsifying passports from Belgium and according to an official statement to Reuters, he was allegedly attempting to board a flight to Dubai to Reuters. Prior to facing extradition, Kwon will appear before a court in Montenegro. The U.S. intends to request extradition, and South Korean authorities have been attempting for some time to apprehend the discredited cryptocurrency founder. His passport has already been revoked by the nation because he refused to reveal his face when asked to. 

The crypto industry has not been able to return to its prior zeniths of the late 2021s and early 2022s since Kwon’s Terra/Luna ecosystem collapsed. Since then, the demise of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX has further dampened the enthusiasm for cryptocurrency. With Kwon’s arrest, we could be in for two significant court cases involving cryptocurrency, just as FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried is preparing for his first court appearance later this year.

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