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Korean Prosecutors Seek Bithumb Owner's Arrest

An arrest warrant has been requested by South Korean prosecutors for Bithumb's owners Kang Jong-Hyun and his sister Kang Ji-Yeon

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The arrest of Bithumb owner Kang Jong-Hyun is being sought after by South Korean prosecutors.

Kang and his sister Kang Ji-Yeon were charged by the Seoul Southern District Prosecutor’s Office with embezzlement, breach of trust and fraudulent illegal transactions. An arrest warrant was requested by prosecutors on 25 January 2022.

Ji-Yeon had served as the CEO of InBioGen and Bucket Studio - two listed Bithumb affiliates, which are down around 10% each over the past 5 days.

Bucket Studio is tied to Netflix hit Squid Game for owning 15% of lead actor Lee Jung-jae's agent Artist Company. Its stock price jumped 30% upon the announcement of season 2.

Bithumb - Korea's biggest crypto exchange - was ordered by the Supreme Court earlier this month to pay damages to users who suffered losses during the platform's outage.

Read more: South Korean Court Orders Bithumb to Pay Outage Damage to Users

South Korea’s National Tax Service also initiated an investigation into Bithumb and its affiliates for tax evasion.

Kang and two other Bithumb executives were sentenced by the Financial Investigation 2nd Division of the Seoul Southern District Prosecutor’s Office for embezzlement and breach of trust. Executives were also charged with conducting fraudulent illegal transactions under the Capital Markets Act.

Bithumb's largest shareholder Park Mo was found dead in front of his home in a suspected suicide on 30 December 2022 following an investigation in which he was alleged to have embezzled funds from Bithumb affiliate companies.

Read more: South Korea, Vietnam Form Web3 Bridge

On 3 January 2022, Former Bithumb Chairman Lee Jung-Hoon was acquitted for charges US$70 million fraud charge.