- Former Chairman of Bithumb Lee Jung-first hoon’s trial was conducted by the 34th Division of the Criminal Agreement of the Seoul Central District Court, and he was declared not guilty.
- Additionally, it was made clear that previous Chairman Lee Jeong-hoon is not participating in Bithumb’s management.
The 34th Division of the Criminal Division of the Seoul Central District Court rendered a not-guilty verdict on January 3 against Lee Jung-hoon, the former chairman of the South Korean bitcoin exchange Bithumb. It was claimed that the prior chair robbed the company of $70 million when acquiring Bithumb.
In October 2018, accusations were made against Jung-Hoon that he had illegally violated the Act on the Aggravated Punishment of Specific Economic Crimes when arranging the purchase of Bithumb from Kim Byung-Gun. If proven, Jung-Hoon faced an eight-year prison term.
When BK Medical Group Chairman Kim Byung-geon entered into a deal to buy about 400 billion won in Bithumb in October 2018, former chairman Lee was charged by the litigation with defrauding a portion of the acquisition price (at the time of the exchange rate of 112 billion won) in the name of ‘BXA’ coin listing.
Bithumb, on the contrary, stated the next day that “We respect the court’s verdict” and added that “Bithumb is administered underneath a structure of top executives, and former Chairman Lee Jeong-hoon is not engaged in the operation of Bithumb.”
Park Mo, the CEO of Bithumb with the largest shareholding, was discovered dead on Dec. 30, almost a week before the decision, after being accused of theft and stock price tampering.
After Terra Luna filed for bankruptcy, South Korean authorities looked into a number of businesses, including Bithumb. In order to prevent another Terra-like event, South Korean exchanges devised an emergency protocol after the collapse.
Local media reports that Jung-hoon has been cleared of all charges. If proven guilty, he might have been sentenced to 8 years in prison. In its formal response to the verdict, Bithumb purportedly stated that it respected the court’s decision.
The exchange also made clear that the previous chairman is not participating in the current activities, which are under “professional management.“