Bitsonic Execs Jailed Over $7.5 Million Theft

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  • A South Korean court has sentenced Bitsonic’s CEO to seven years in prison for embezzling $7.5 million
  • The company’s tech chief also received a one-year term for his part in the scam
  • The case involved allegations of market manipulation and misappropriation of user funds on the Bitsonic platform.

A South Korean court has handed down a seven-year prison sentence to the CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange Bitsonic for orchestrating the embezzlement of customer deposits valued at $7.5 million. The case, which unfolded following the arrest of Jinwook Shin in early August, involved allegations of market manipulation and misappropriation of user funds on the Bitsonic platform. Shin faced charges including fraud, forgery, and obstruction of business by computer, with the court also imposing a one-year prison term on Bitsonic’s tech chief for aiding in his illicit activity.

Tech Chief Created Market Manipulation Software

The accusations leveled at Shin and Mr. centered around a program that Mr. A developed and operated that enabled Shin to manipulate the exchange’s systems for personal gain; the program allowed Shin to inflate the market price and trading volume of self-issued coins, allowing him to steal about 10 billion won ($7.5 million) in customer deposits. 

The court’s ruling, which was reported by South Korean outlet Yonhap News on Wednesday, highlighted the severity of the offenses, noting the defendants’ failure to accept responsibility or express remorse. Additionally, a significant portion of the embezzled funds remains unrecovered.

Testing Times for South Korea’s New Laws

The sentencing of Bitsonic’s executives comes amidst a broader crackdown on crypto-related crimes in South Korea. Recently, three executives of Haru Invest, a yield platform, were arrested for allegedly stealing a staggering $750 million in cryptocurrency from their clients.

These incidents have prompted South Korean regulators to implement stricter regulations governing the cryptocurrency sector. Notably, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) announced new laws, effective from July, that could potentially result in life imprisonment for individuals convicted of crypto-related offenses.