Just in Time: SEC Charges Do Kwon, Terraform Labs With Fraud

Share This Post

Almost a year after the algorithmic stablecoin Terra USD lost its peg, and following tens of billions of dollars of investor money evaporating into thin air, the SEC charged Terraform Labs and CEO Do Kwon on Thursday for allegedly “orchestrating” cryptocurrency securities fraud.

The regulators’ complaint was filed in the Southern District of New York on Thursday. It charges Kwon and Terraform Labs on two federal securities counts.

Terraform and Kwon should have registered a number of their cryptoassets with the SEC as securities, the regulator said — including crypto swaps on underlying equities.

The charges stem from both Kwon personally and his company allegedly raising billions of dollars from investors over a four-year period by offering and selling an “inter-connected suite of crypto asset securities,” according to a statement.

It’s alleged that Kwon offered and sold unregistered securities including tokenized stocks, the algorithmic stablecoin Terra USD and sister token LUNA. It all added up, in the SEC’s estimation, as selling investors on opportunities “to invest in their crypto empire.”

Kwon is responsible for causing a $40 billion rift in the crypto market, including losses for US retail and institutional investors, the regulator alleges.

From April 2018 until May 2022, Terraform and Kwon are said to have marketed tokens they claimed would increase in value.

Yield-bearing stablecoin UST was paraded around as paying out as high as 20% via Anchor, the SEC says.

LUNA marketing also deceived investors that the asset was being used by a Korean payments application giant, leveraging the Terra blockchain to settle transactions and gather additional LUNA in the process, the regulator said.

The SEC’s complaint said that Kwon owns a whopping 92% of Terraform’s shares. It claims Kwon made “fraudulent misrepresentations” about Terra USD’s stability and was explicitly aware of the stablecoin’s “structural weakness.”

The defendants “aggressively marketed” Terraform’s cryptocurrencies to US investors, according to the SEC, by “posting information and promotional materials to accounts on several publicly accessible online social media platforms, such as Twitter accounts, blog posts, YouTube, and messaging applications like Telegram.”

Kwon, who has an Interpol Red Notice out for his arrest, has been on the run since the demise of Terra last year. His location has been unknown.

The South Korean native was also hit with an arrest warrant by the Seoul Southern District Prosecutor’s Office four months after Terra’s implosion.

Terraform employees including Nicholas Platias, a former head of research at Terra, and staff member Han Mo were also issued arrest warrants at the time.


Get the day’s top crypto news and insights delivered to your email every evening. Subscribe to Blockworks’ free newsletter now.

Want alpha sent directly to your inbox? Get degen trade ideas, governance updates, token performance, can’t-miss tweets and more from Blockworks Research’s Daily Debrief.

Can’t wait? Get our news the fastest way possible. Join us on Telegram and follow us on Google News.



Source
Just in Time: SEC Charges Do Kwon, Terraform Labs With Fraud is written by Sebastian Sinclair for blockworks.co

Related Posts

The Potential of Hedera: A Deep Dive into the Future of Distributed Ledger Technology

In the rapidly evolving landscape of blockchain and distributed...

Chibi Clash Announces Updates and Upcoming NFT Sale on Xterio Copy

Chibi Clash, a web3 fantasy game universe powered...

Internet Computer (ICP): Revolutionizing the Decentralized Web

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, blockchain technology...

Ethereum ETF confirmed? VanEck spot Ether ETF listed by DTCC

Amid increasing speculation about the possible approval of a...

Citizen Conflict Alpha 5 Launches with Play-to-Earn Campaign

QORPO Game Studio has launched the highly anticipated update,...

Lightspeed Newsletter: New Solana startup accelerator has a DePIN flavor

Howdy!  Welcome to Lightspeed, the newest addition to the Blockworks...
ethereum
Ethereum (ETH) $ 3,739.96
bitcoin
Bitcoin (BTC) $ 68,792.43
tether
Tether (USDT) $ 1.00
xrp
XRP (XRP) $ 0.534465
binance-usd
BUSD (BUSD) $ 1.00
cardano
Cardano (ADA) $ 0.45862
dogecoin
Dogecoin (DOGE) $ 0.162941
litecoin
Litecoin (LTC) $ 84.90
solana
Solana (SOL) $ 167.50