- Do Kwon‘s extradition has just been overturned by the Montenegran appellate court.
- Both the US and South Korea accuse Kwon and Shin of fraud and illegal token sales, seeking his extradition for trial.
- Kwon may have avoided extradition and a harsh fate for now but is still at risk of being extradited in 2024 if the court rules in that direction
It’s been a crazy year for the disgraced Terraform Labs founder, Do Kwon, since the Terra ecosystem crashed in May 2022.
Do Kwon is accused of orchestrating the massive Terra fraud scheme that swallowed up billions of dollars worth of customer funds. And for the last year and a half, Kwon has been jumping from lawsuit to lawsuit and country to country.
Do Kwon has been detained in Montenegro since March 2023 and as of the time of writing, his fate remains unclear.
His extradition approval has just been cancelled, and Kwon might be facing multiple counts of prison time in both the US and South Korea.
The Rise and Fall of Terra
Terraform Labs was founded in 2018 by Kwon and Daniel Shin. From 2018 until 2022, Terra quickly gained popularity, claiming to have over 2 million users and processed over $10 billion in transactions as of 2020.
All was going well until May 2022, when something went terribly wrong with the Terra blockchain.
At the end of the day, the Terra ecosystem had lost about $40 billion of market value.
Thus began the legal woes of Kwon and Shin, who were believed to have manipulated the supply and demand of Terra and Luna, and misled investors about the security of Terra.
Not only that the US SEC also accused Kwon and Shin of knowingly selling millions of dollars worth of Luna tokens right before the crash. Almost like they knew.
Soon after the SEC sued Kwon and Shin for Terra’s failure, the South Korean government also jumped in, indicting both on charges of fraud and manipulation, to the time of 1.6 trillion won ($1.4 billion) that affected about 200,000 investors.
The Extradition Saga
Do Kwon, as mentioned earlier has been holed up in Montenegro since March 2023, after attempting to travel with fake travel documents.
Soon after getting arrested, the US and South Korea have both filed for Kwon’s extradition.
And the US almost got its wish.
In November 2023, the High Court of Podgorica (capital of Montenegro) ruled that the legal conditions for Kwon’s extradition had been met and that the final decision on Kwon’s extradition would be made by Montenegro’s minister of justice.
However, according to recent reports this week, the Appeals Court of Montenegro has just thrown the High Court’s decision out of the window and cancelled Kwon’s extradition.
According to the Montenegrin Appellate Court, the High Court’s decision was affected by “violations” of Montenegro’s Criminal Procedure Code.
The court also ruled that the decision did not have clear and sufficient reasons for approving Kwon’s extradition in the first place.
At the end of the day, the Appellate Court has ordered the case to be returned to the Podgorica Basic Court for retrial.
What Next For Do Kwon In 2024?
One thing is certain: Kwon will be spending a lot more time in Montenegro’s cells.
The latest development in this case may have saved Kwon from a much harsher fate in the US and Korea, but it does not mean that he is free from the legal troubles that have plagued him for the past year.
We may see Kwon eventually be extradited to the US or South Korea in 2024, depending on the outcome of the retrial and the decision of the minister of justice.
Disclaimer: Voice of Crypto aims to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, but it will not be responsible for any missing facts or inaccurate information. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile financial assets, so research and make your own financial decisions.