On January 25, local media reportedly accused the owner of Bithumb, the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, of manipulating the stock values of several affiliated companies. This has caused potential harm to investors and the stock market. Prosecutors in Seoul have this issued a warrant for the person’s arrest.
However, an arrest warrant has been requested for Kang Jong-hyun, the Chairman and owner of Bithumb, as part of an investigation into alleged money theft by Bithumb officials. The investigation is ongoing.
The Financial Investigation Division 2 of the Seoul Southern District Prosecutor’s Office, headed by Chief Prosecutor Chae Hee-man, accused Kang and two other executives of embezzlement, breach of trust, and fraudulent transactions on January 25.
Moreover, the media accuse the older brother of Bithumb affiliates Inbiogen and Bucket Studio’s CEO Kang Ji-yeon of having a key role in influencing the stock price of these businesses through the issuing of convertible bonds. In addition, he is also well-known for being a hot issue in the media due to romantic allegations involving actress Park Min-young.
The inquiry into claims of stolen corporate money and stock price manipulation by Kang, as stated in the report, led to the seizure and search of the offices of Bithumb affiliates Vident, Inbiogen, and Bucket Studio in October of last year. Vidente holds the largest stake in Bithumb Holdings, with 34.2% interest, followed by Inbiogen and Bucket Studio.
Bithumb Executives Face Legal Troubles Amid Stock Manipulation
Executives from Bithumb have encountered legal issues before. The court cleared former Chairman Lee Jung-Hoon of charges in January 2021 for a $100 million exchange-related scam.
Furthermore, court charged 8-year jail term for alleged theft from cosmetic surgeon during a business transaction in July 2021.
Bithumb’s top shareholder Park Mo found dead outside South Korean home, December 2022. Park Mo was a suspect in stock manipulation and fraud probe. Local media reported the discovery of Park Mo’s death in December 2022. His death was classified as a suicide, which further complicated the matter.
However, the exchange has not made any comments on the topic yet. It remains unclear how these events will affect the business and its users.
The arrest of Kang In-sik and his sister is a serious blow to Bithumb. The exchange has not made any comments on the topic yet. It remains unclear how these events will affect the business and its users.
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