Do Kwon Crypto Fraud Charges: USA, South Korea Prosecutors Battle for Extradition of TerraUST Founder

FXEmpire.com -

Do Kwon, the embattled co-founder of Terraform Labs, has been detained in Montenegro, since his arrest in March 2023. His potential extradition has sparked a legal battle between the United States and South Korea, both seeking to prosecute him on fraud charges.

After another successful appeal from Do Kwon’s legal team, Montenegro’s High Court will once again decide whether to extradite the Terraform Labs co-founder to the United States or South Korea.

A report from Montenegrin news outlet Vijesti on May 24 revealed that the country’s court of appeals had accepted arguments from Kwon’s lawyers and sent the extradition decision back to the High Court for a retrial and decision. This appeal marked the latest legal maneuver by Kwon’s team to delay his transfer to either the U.S. or South Korea, where he would face criminal charges.

“If the person whose extradition is sought gives his consent to extradition, it is a shortened procedure that has to be applied and in which case the court decides on extradition,” Montenegro’s court of appeals stated in its decision. They added, “The first-instance court was obliged to hear the defendant again while ensuring the fulfillment of guarantees that the person whose extradition is sought gave consent voluntarily, was aware of its consequences, and that the given consent cannot be revoked.”

Authorities in Montenegro arrested Kwon in March 2023 for using falsified travel documents while attempting to leave the country. He was sentenced to four months in prison and subsequently released as courts evaluated the competing extradition requests from the U.S. and South Korea.

Legal Complications and Future Proceedings

In April, a U.S. court found Terraform Labs and Kwon liable for fraud in a civil case initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). A judge is set to hear proposed remedies from both parties during a hearing scheduled for May 29.

The extradition tug-of-war over Do Kwon adds another layer of complexity to his legal battles. If extradited to South Korea, he faces an indictment for fraud and violations of capital markets law. Conversely, the United States seeks to prosecute him for his role in the collapse of TerraUSD (UST) and its associated cryptocurrency ecosystem, which caused significant financial losses for investors.

As Montenegro’s courts deliberate on Kwon’s extradition, questions remain about whether he can actively participate in his defense either in the U.S. or his home country, South Korea. His legal team continues to navigate the complex international legal landscape in a bid to secure the most favorable outcome for their client.

The ongoing case against Do Kwon underscores the global implications of cryptocurrency fraud and the intricate legal challenges that arise when multiple jurisdictions are involved in the prosecution of financial crimes.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

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