Bitsonic chief sentenced to 7 years for crypto theft in South Korea

A South Korean court has sentenced the CEO of crypto exchange Bitsonic to seven years behind bars for stealing 10 billion won ($7.5 million) worth of customer deposits, while its tech chief will spend a year in prison.

Arrested in early August, chief Jinwook Shin was accused of manipulating crypto prices and trading volumes on Bitsonic, and stealing user investments. He was indicted on charges of fraud, forgery, and obstruction of business by computer.

Bitsonic’s VP of technology, referred to as Mr. A, was indicted on charges of obstruction of business by computer. He was accused of creating and running a program that allowed Shin to manipulate the system in his favor.

On Wednesday, South Korean outlet Yonhap News reported that the duo had received a combined eight years in prison. According to the Seoul Eastern District Court, Shin and Mr. A are “avoiding responsibility and showing no remorse.” A “significant amount” of the stolen funds have not be recovered, it added.

Bitsonic chief Jinwook Shin was sentenced to seven years in prison (via X).

Read more: Buying crypto with credit cards may be scrapped in South Korea

The Bitsonic sentencing comes shortly after the Seoul Prosecutors Office arrested three executives of yield platform Haru Invest for allegedly stealing 1.1 trillion won ($828 million) in crypto from its customers.

South Korea is adopting tighter regulations for cryptocurrency on the back of scandal after scandal. On Wednesday, South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) announced that crypto criminals could face a life sentence if found guilty of new laws that take effect in July.

The country’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) is slated to meet with top regulators across the world this year, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Gary Gensler in the US, in order to learn how they’re tackling digital assets. Particularly, the FSS will discuss the SEC’s recent decision to approve 11 spot bitcoin ETFs, which impacted global markets.

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