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Do Kwon Could Be Extradited to US; Terraform Labs Liable for Fraud in SEC Case

The US wants Do Kwon's blood and Montenegro just might let them have it

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It was just a matter of a few weeks ago when we confidently reported that Do Kwon's extradition was finally decided upon and that the LUNA founder was headed back to South Korea.

Do Kwon Will Be Extradited to South Korea But It Could Be a Win For Him
A Montenegro court is sending Do Kwon back home but it might not be the worst thing for the LUNA founder

The news came following months of uncertainty and deliberation between Montenegro, the US, and South Korea. When the news came that Do Kwon would be returning to home ground, we were relieved that the chapter had finally come to a close.

However, just days following the announcement, Montenegro’s Supreme Court suspended the decision made by lower-level judges. The Supreme Court cited procedural errors and challenged rulings that sided with extradition to South Korea.

Do Kwon Released From Jail But His Extradition Is Up For Debate Yet Again
It’s back to the drawing board (again) for the Montenegro court to decide where to extradite Do Kwon to

It now seems that Do Kwon could end up on trial in New York instead. Kwon and his team had pushed for extradition to South Korea as sentences for white-collar crimes are less harsh than Montenegro seems fit. Therefore the government intends to approve extradition to the US instead.

In a statement on Friday, the Supreme Court said Montenegro's country justice minister will make a decision about Do Kwon's fate and that the case has been returned to the High Court for legal assessment.

The US Department of Justice has been pushing for Montenegro to hand over Do Kwon to them. "The United States continues to seek Kwon’s extradition in accordance with relevant international and bilateral agreements and Montenegrin law,” the DoJ said.

“The United States appreciates the cooperation of the Montenegrin authorities in ensuring that all individuals are subject to the rule of law.”

Meanwhile, a New York jury has found Terraform Labs and Do Kwon liable for civil fraud charges issued by the SEC.

The SEC accused Terraform Labs and Do Kwon of misleading investors about LUNA's stability.

On Friday, the jury delivered the verdict two hours after lawyers for the SEC and defendants gave their closing arguments.

Jurors agreed with the SEC that Do Kwon and Terraform Labs deceived investors every day.

“We are pleased with today’s jury verdict holding Terraform Labs and Do Kwon liable for a massive crypto fraud,” Gurbir Grewal, SEC Division of Enforcement director, wrote in a statement.

“The defendants caused devastating losses for investors and wiped out tens of billions of market value nearly overnight. For all of crypto’s promises, the lack of registration and compliance have very real consequences for real people. As the hard work of our team shows, we will continue to use the tools at our disposal to protect the investing public, but it is high time for the crypto markets to come into compliance,” Grewal added.

SEC attorney Laura Meehan informed the jury that Do Kwon and Terraform Labs had made a secret deal with an institutional investor, Jump Trading, in an attempt to rescue UST following its de-pegging in May 221. Meehan claimed that Do Kwon and Terraform Labs kept the deal quiet and instead told investors that LUNA was stable due to its own algorithm.

Terraform Labs and Do Kwon's lawyers claimed Jump Trading's involvement was just part of their relationship as a market maker. Terraform Labs has since said the firm is "very disappointed with the verdict, which we do not believe is supported by the evidence. We continue to maintain that the SEC does not have the legal authority to bring this case at all, and we are carefully weighing our options and next steps.”

Do Kwon’s Terraform Labs Files For Bankruptcy
LUNA founder Do Kwon could be extradited to the US as soon as March

On 22 January 2024, Terraform Labs revealed it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware. The firm said the move was “a strategic step that will enable it to continue its operations and support litigation pending in Singapore and U.S. litigation involving the Securities and Exchange Commission.”