South Korea Jails Seven Masterminds of Country’s ‘Largest Crypto Fraud Scheme’

Seven executives of the collapsed South Korean scam cryptocurrency exchange, V Global, were recently handed lengthy jail sentences as punishment for their role in running one of the country’s biggest crypto frauds.

Verdict Sets New Benchmark

Seven former masterminds of the now-defunct scam crypto exchange, V Global, were recently given jail sentences for their part in misappropriating nearly $1.9 billion in investors’ funds. Lee Byung-gul, who was the CEO of the entity when the funds went missing, was handed a 22-year jail term while his accomplices were given jail sentences that range between four and 14 years.

According to a report by Forkast, the jailing of Lee Byung-gul and his fellow executives comes a month after prosecutors asked for life sentences. At the time, the prosecutors argued that handing the offenders life sentences would reflect the severity of the offenses.

However, the report reveals that the jail sentences given to the CEO and his co-conspirators are in fact closer to the most severe punishment that is usually meted out to property crimes offenders. The verdict on one of South Korea’s biggest crypto scams potentially sets a benchmark for the legal punishment that is handed to persons that commit crypto related-crimes.

Majority of Investors Lost Everything

Meanwhile, a lawyer representing some victims of the crypto scam is quoted in the report stating that a majority of the victims were middle-aged or senior citizens. The lawyer, Han Sang-jun of the Daegun law firm, said:

Most of the victims were middle-aged or senior citizens who dreamed of a stable life after retirement.

The lawyer also revealed that one of the victims from the 52,419 investors that lost their funds has already committed suicide. While some of the investors did receive a portion of their funds, the report said a majority of the victims lost everything.

Many of V Global’s victims were lured into the scam after they were promised guaranteed returns of more than 300% on every $5,000, or six million Korean won, that was invested. In addition to the “guaranteed” return, V Global investors that brought in new participants were promised a commission of $1,000.

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