Former Bithumb chair faces 8-year imprisonment

Lee Jeong-hoon, the former president of Bithumbone of South Korea's leading cryptocurrency exchanges, is at the center of a legal battle and could face an eight-year prison sentence, with a verdict scheduled for January 18, 2024.

According According to local Korean media reports, prosecutors maintain that Lee intended to revamp Bithumb's governance to profit from exchange tokens, circumventing financial regulations. The case has been ongoing since October 2018, when the former president allegedly defrauded 100 billion won ($70 million) during negotiations for the acquisition of Bithumb from Kim Byung-gun, president of the cosmetic surgery company BK Group. Prosecutors claim that Lee knew about the challenges in the BXA token listing, but did not disclose them to Kim. Despite the listing issues, Lee allegedly received payments without informing Kim about the decision not to list the BXA token.

South Korean prosecutors sought an eight-year prison sentence for Lee.

Lee's defense disputes the claims, pointing out discrepancies in Kim's statements and questioning their reliability. Lee insists on Kim's competence to lead Bithumb and maintains that Kim was informed about the progress of the BXA token listing.

Lee faces legal problems related to accusations of violating the Aggravated Punishment for Specific Economic Crimes Act, particularly fraud.

Related: Bithumb Plans to Be First Crypto Exchange Listed on Korean Stock Market: Report

The decision on Lee's ongoing appeal could set a precedent for legal proceedings related to cryptocurrency exchanges and governance. This development coincides with Bithumb's preparations for an initial public offering on Kosdaq by 2025.

The outcome of the appeal will have a significant impact on the future of Bithumb and the fate of BXA tokens. A guilty verdict could trigger a reassessment of governance frameworks at cryptocurrency exchanges, which could result in increased regulatory scrutiny.

While the cryptocurrency community and investors anticipate the outcome of the appeal, the case underscores the dynamic nature of the industry and the need for well-defined regulatory frameworks to address governance issues and maintain trust among investors and stakeholders. .

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