South Korea arrests Bitsonic CEO for allegedly stealing $7.5M of users’ money

The CEO of the crypto exchange Bitsonic, who was under investigation for stealing investments and deposits, was arrested by South Korean police. The Vice President of Bitsonic would also be put on trial, but without preliminary detention. 

As reported by South Korean news outlet Chosun Biz, on August 7 local prosecutors arrested Jinwook Shin, who’s being accused of forgery. According to the prosecution, in a period from January 2019 to May 2021, Shin falsely manipulated the prices and trading volume of cryptocurrency on Bitsonic, stealing the equivalent of $7.5 million (10 billion won) from the exchange’s users.

Even after liquidity issues began and Bitsonic stopped withdrawals, its CEO continued offering crypto to new clients.

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The investigation, which started in 2021, also accuses the company VP, whom media refer to as Mr. A, of running a program to purchase the cryptocurrency held by Shin on the exchange system. In his manipulation, Shin used a paper company he opened in Singapore.

In August 2021, Bitsonic halted operations, citing “internal and external issues.” In the same period South Korean police shut down 11 local crypto platforms for fraud.

South Korea has recently established an interagency investigation unit to combat cryptocurrency crimes, aiming to address the rise in illicit activities in the market and the need for investor protection.

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