Do Kwon Seeks SEC Trial Postponement Amid Extradition Challenges

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Key Takeaways

  • Kwon’s legal team has formally requested a trial postponement until mid-March. 
  • If the court denies the request, the trial is slated to proceed on January 29, 2024

Amidst the ongoing legal saga involving Do Kwon, the former CEO of Terraform Labs, a recent development has seen his legal counsel request a delay in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) trial. 

The reason behind this request lies in the ongoing challenges surrounding Kwon’s extradition from Montenegro, where he is currently serving a four-month prison sentence for document forgery.

The legal twist comes on the heels of a successful appeal by Kwon for his extradition to the U.S. or South Korea, which led the Montenegro Appeals Court to order a retrial due to procedural irregularities. Facing SEC charges alongside Terraform Labs for alleged involvement in defrauding investors through crypto schemes, Kwon’s trial was initially scheduled to commence at the end of January.

Kwon’s legal team, as disclosed in a filing spotted by Inner City Press, has formally requested a trial postponement until mid-March. The primary rationale behind this delay is to afford Kwon the necessary time to navigate the complex process of seeking permission to travel to the U.S., a procedure that has proven to be protracted.

The decision on this adjournment request rests with Judge Jed Rakoff of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. It is anticipated that Judge Rakoff will render a decision early next week, following input from both the SEC and Terraform Labs. The SEC and Terraform Labs are required to submit their positions on the delay request by January 15.

In the event that the court denies the postponement, the trial is slated to proceed on January 29, 2024, even in the absence of Do Kwon. Should this scenario unfold, the judge is likely to instruct the jury that Kwon’s inability to testify should not be perceived as unduly prejudicial to him, aligning with the defense’s stance.

The backdrop of Kwon’s extradition issues adds complexity to a legal landscape already marked by SEC accusations. The SEC filed fraud charges against Kwon in February 2023, alleging his involvement in orchestrating a multi-billion dollar crypto-securities fraud. These charges are directly linked to the collapse of Terraform Labs’ stablecoin TerraClassicUSD (USTC) and its associated crypto token, Terra Luna Classic (LUNC).

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Saniya Raahath
Saniya Raahath

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