The prosecution has urged the Seoul High Court to sentence former Bithumb Chairman Lee Jeong-hoon to eight years in prison, alleging law violations on the aggravated punishment of specific economic crimes, specifically fraud. Lee, who stands accused of orchestrating a fraudulent scheme amounting to 110 billion won, attended the appeal hearing on the charges at the 5th Criminal Division of the Seoul High Court, according to the report.
Legal Battle Over Bithumb’s Deception
The charges stem from Lee’s alleged deception of BK Group Chairman Kim Byeong-gun, leading to financial damages of 110 billion won. The prosecution, dissatisfied with the acquittal in the initial trial, is pushing for a revision of the ruling and a prison sentence matching their initial request.
The prosecution contends that Lee misled Kim Byeong-gun with promises of acquiring and jointly managing Bithumb and listing BXA (Bithumb Coin) on the exchange. Despite the first trial court asserting that the investment agreement lacked a binding clause regarding the coin listing, the prosecution insisted on the deception and promptly appealed.
According to the prosecution, Lee aimed to alter Bithumb’s governance structure to allow a foreign company to control it, evading financial authority regulations and profiting from exchange coins. They argued that Lee was fully aware of the difficulties in listing BXA coins but deliberately withheld this information from Kim Byeong-gun.
The defense countered, claiming inconsistencies in the victim’s statements and citing the original trial court’s distrust of Chairman Kim’s testimony. They argued that Kim had initially proposed acquiring Bithumb.
Addressing the listing process, the defense pointed out that Kim had inquired about the status of BXA Coin’s listing with the Financial Supervisory Service, challenging the prosecution’s premise that he was unaware.
In his final statement, Lee asserted his belief in Kim’s ability to lead and grow the company. He maintained that he acted in good faith as the seller but faced payment delays.
Moreover, the court has scheduled the appeal hearing for January 18 next year. The case highlights the intricate legal battle surrounding allegations of fraud and deception in the upper echelons of the cryptocurrency industry.
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