A branch of the South Korean High Court has jailed a convicted crypto scammer who operated a bogus token trading platform for nine and a half years.
Per Seoul Kyungjae, the case was heard at the Busan High Court (Ulsan Tribunal) on November 12.
The scammer, unnamed for legal reasons, was originally sentenced to serve eight years by an Ulsan-based district court.
But the High Court upheld the scammer’s guilty verdict – and increased the jail term after hearing additional evidence from prosecutors.
The court heard that the individual, named as A in the national media, told victims that they could use “crypto market manipulation” methods to make “x50 profits” on their initial stakes.
The court heard that the bogus crypto exchange was operational from March to August 2019.
Prosecutors said that A had “advertised” the platform on social media channels.
The scammer raised almost $1 million from “about 90 victims,” the court heard.
A claimed that the platform made use of a sophisticated piece of software “developed in-house” that manipulated crypto prices.
A also tried to promote a cryptoasset that they claimed could be used to pay at “convenience stores, department stores, and gas stations.”
But the court heard that A was in debt to the tune of about $0.5 million when making these claims, and was on probation while operating the scheme.
South Korean High Court Increases Crypto Scammer’s Jail Sentence
Prosecutors explained that A had faced financial fraud charges in the past.
They said that investors in A’s foreign exchange trading company had previously lodged civil fraud cases.
The court also heard evidence about A “siphoning off” over $1 million from their former employer’s bank to “repay debts and pay personal living expenses.”
Prosecutors presented evidence about another case whereby A had faced a lawsuit from four stock investors.
A, prosecutors explained, ran a bogus British stock trading platform that also promised investors sky-high gains.
The presiding judge stated, in sentencing:
“The defendant has a history of breaking the law, is a repeat fraud offender, and committed this crime while on probation for fraud-related convictions.”
South Korean Police Shut Down ‘International Crypto Fraud’ Ring, Freeze $1.2m
— Cryptonews.com (@cryptonews) November 8, 2023
Crypto scam-related stories have dominated the headlines in South Korea so far this month.
Public controversy has also been brewing over a recent state visit to Saudi Arabia.
Media outlets revealed that a suspected crypto fraudster joined the South Korean delegation’s meeting with top Saudi government officials.
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