- Do Kwon has been charged with fraud by U.S. prosecutors following his arrest yesterday
- Kwo was detained at Podgorica Airport in Montenegro trying to board a plane to Dubai with false passports
- U.S. prosecutors will face a fight from South Korean authorities
Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon has been charged with fraud by U.S. prosecutors following his arrest in Montenegro yesterday. The South Korean crypto entrepreneur, responsible for the $60bn collapse of Terra USD and LUNA digital tokens last year, has been accused of deceiving customers by making false claims about the Terra blockchain, including its technology and user adoption. Prosecutors claim that Kwon repeated these misleading claims in a television interview in October 2019 and a social media post the following year, and as a result faces eight criminal charges, including securities, commodities, and wire fraud.
Arrested With Fake Passports
Kwon, who is also wanted by South Korean authorities for a range of financial crimes, said in December that they believed Kwon to have fled Singapore for Serbia via Dubai, and his arrest in Montenegro would appear to bear this out. His escape was made despite his South Korean passport having been revoked, suggesting that he either had friends in high places, was able to bribe someone, or he had fake papers at that point.
Earlier on Thursday, Montenegro’s interior minister Filip Adzic said on Twitter that “the former cryptocurrency king” was detained by police at Podgorica Airport in the country’s south trying to board a plane to Dubai. Police found forged Costa Rican and Belgian passports in his possessions and arrested him.
U.S. Will Face Extradition Battle
The U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York said it would seek to extradite Kwon, but will face a battle with South Korean officials who may believe they have more of a right over him given their close relationship to the Terraform Labs ecosystem and Kwon’s nationality. Kwon and Terra have also been sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for not registering the sale of LUNA and Terra U.S.D tokens, which they claim to be securities.
The capture of Kwon comes six months after Interpol issued a red notice against Kwon, representing a plea to worldwide law enforcement to arrest the Terraform Labs boss. Kwon continued to be active on social media since his fall from grace, even appearing on a livestream in the wake of the collapse of FTX.