SEC Trial of Terraform Labs and Do Kwon Delayed
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has consented to postpone the trial of Terraform Labs and its co-founder, Do Kwon, pending Kwon’s extradition. This follows a filing by the SEC on January 15, 2024, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The trial, originally scheduled to commence on January 29, is now proposed to start no earlier than March 18, 2024.
Kwon, currently in Montenegro following his arrest in March 2023, is facing charges for allegedly orchestrating a $40 billion cryptocurrency fraud. The SEC, fully prepared to proceed with the trial, joined Kwon’s legal team in requesting the adjournment to ensure his participation in the trial. The Terraform Labs co-founder’s legal team, dealing with the complexities of extradition, suggested that Kwon could be in the United States by mid-March. If the trial is postponed, the SEC has requested that it commence on April 15, 2024.
The allegations against Terraform Labs and Kwon stem from the collapse of TerraUSD, a stablecoin designed to maintain a constant $1 price, and Luna, a closely linked token. Both cryptocurrencies suffered a catastrophic loss in May 2022 when TerraUSD failed to maintain its peg, leading to a market loss of $40 billion or more. This event marked a significant downturn in the crypto market that year and had far-reaching implications in the industry.
Furthermore, Terraform Labs and Kwon are accused of misleading investors about the stability of TerraUSD and its usage in a popular Korean mobile payment app. In addition to the SEC’s civil case, Kwon also faces criminal charges in the U.S. and an extradition request from South Korea. The outcome of this trial could significantly impact the regulatory landscape of cryptocurrencies, given the scale of the alleged fraud and the involvement of multiple international jurisdictions.
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