• The CEO of the V Global exchange, surnamed Lee, has been found guilty of fraud and will serve 25 years in jail.
• The exchange had promised members payouts in the platform’s own tokens for recruiting new members, which later turned out to be bogus.
• Police stepped in after groups of angry investors complained they could not withdraw tokens or fiat from the platform.
The Supreme Court of South Korea has sentenced the CEO of the V Global exchange, surnamed Lee, to 25 years in prison for fraud. The ruling comes after the court heard that the exchange had tricked some 50,000 customers out of a total of $2.3 billion.
V Global was designed to look like a bona fide trading platform. It featured a website with real-time coin tickers and a tiered membership system that promised members payouts in the platform’s own tokens for recruiting new members. Unfortunately, these coins later turned out to be bogus.
The exchange was operational between July 2020 and April 2021, during which time it offered promises of 300% growth on customers’ initial stakes. Unfortunately, after groups of angry investors came forward complaining that they couldn’t withdraw tokens or fiat from the platform, police stepped in.
An investigation revealed that Lee had previously used crypto-themed multi-level marketing tactics to dupe investors at another, now-defunct exchange. He and a number of V Global senior executives were tried last year. Other senior executives were jailed for between four and 14 years – with the company’s second most powerful executive (after Lee) given an eight-year term late in 2022.
The Supreme Court dismissed Lee’s appeal and upheld the high court’s guilty verdict. As a result, Lee will now serve 25 years in prison for his role in the $2.3 billion fraud. It’s a harsh sentence, but one that reflects the seriousness of the crime. It also serves as a warning to those looking to take advantage of naive investors in the crypto world.