A year ago in the month of December, three representatives of Korea’s top cryptocurrency exchange were on charges of allegedly distorting more than 254 trillion won ($225.6 billion) worth of fake orders to artificially inflate the exchange’s trade volumes. The plan was reported to have brought more than 122 billion won ($108.3 million).
Upbit has denied the allegations and the employees including two executives were not confined, however, the investigation is in progress.
This isn’t the first run through a South Korean Exchange has experienced harsh criticism amid allegations of fraud despite this appears to be the first time that convictions and jail sentences have been handed down.
Despite these factors, however, the judge concluded that Choi and Park’s actions had damaged customers confidence in the exchange as well as having a negative impact on the cryptocurrency market as a whole.
The News Asia notes that Park was especially forthcoming to prosecutors about Choi’s role, stating:
Choi entered false orders, then we repeated the process and fooled investors into thinking the transactions were authentic, organic trades.
While Choi acted to facilitate their scheme, the alliance appeared in the face of criminal charges.
Hence, on 17th January Komid CEO Hyunsuk Choi and in-house director, Mo Park was sentenced to jail for “creating fraudulent trading volume” on the exchange.
It has been estimated that the scheme netted the pair close to 50 billion won ($44.3 million). Prosecutors counters to the proceedings described how Choi and Park faked 5 million transactions on the exchange, artificially inflating trade volumes to deceive investors and attract new users to the platform.
— BitTube | Airtime (@BitTubeApp) June 5, 2018
Finally, the comment has been made by the Judge who is ruling this case:
Choi has committed fraud for a countless number of victims for a long period of time… Furthermore, he holds the financial authorities responsible for failing to keep track of the industry better.