- Bithumb chairman Lee Jung-hoon has had his shares seized following a court order
- The seizure is in relation to Lee’s ongoing legal troubles in Korea
- Lee is being sued by BXA token investors and is being investigated for illegally trying to move Bithumb shares overseas
The twisted tale of Bithumb, Korea’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, took another turn today after the Seoul Central District Court enforced an order to seize shares belonging to the chairman, Lee Jung-hoon. According to Korean website News Free Zone, Lee was issued with the seizure order on Monday in relation to two bouts of legal action being taken against him, with the seizure itself taking place earlier today at the Bithumb head offices in Gangnam-gu, Seoul.
Failed Bithumb Takeover Results in Lawsuit
The Bithumb share seizure could be connected to one of two legal actions against Lee at the moment. The first involves a failed bid from Singapore-based BK Global Consortium to buy the exchange in 2019. The sale involved the creation of BXA tokens, which elicited a 30 billion KRW investment (around $25.7 million), but the sale collapsed in September 2019 when BK failed to pay.
As a result the value of the BXA tokens evaporated overnight while Lee and Bithumb kept the money, leading to furious investors suing Lee over their loss.
Lee’s Illegal Share Transfer
Lee is also being investigated for attempting to take Bithumb shares out of the country illegally, so the court’s action may be in line with this separate investigation, where he has been charged with “escape of property”. The Bithumb offices were raided two weeks ago as a result of this investigation, with Lee now seeing his shares seized by the courts.
The seizure of Lee’s shares doesn’t seem to have put off interest in the company’s IPO however, with the underwriters filing a letter of intent earlier this month for the sale of the stake in Bithumb Holdings and planning to select a short list of buyers soon.