Court Clears Terra Founder Do Kwon for Extradition
- Do Kwon was arrested in Montenegro in March for using a fake passport to escape the country.
- A Montenegro court sentenced the Terra executive to four months in prison for document forgery.
- Kwon could face up to 40 years in prison if extradited to South Korea.
A Montenegrin court ruling allows Do Kwon, the entrepreneur responsible for the $40 billion collapse of the cryptocurrency token TerraUSD, to be extradited to the United States or South Korea to face fraud charges. The Terra co-founder has been detained in the Balkan nation since June when he unsuccessfully tried to leave the nation using a fake passport.
The final decision on Kwon’s extradition rests on the Montenegrin Justice Minister. However, Kwon is expected to complete his four-month sentence for document falsification. Kwon recently tried to appeal his sentence in Montenegro which was subsequently rejected by Montenegro’s highest court, keeping him behind bars.
Kwon is also the target of an ongoing investigation in South Korea and faces multiple counts of fraud charges by US prosecutors. If extradited to South Korea, Kwon could most likely face a 40-year prison sentence.
Multiple sources state that Kwon is being kept at Spuž prison, which is close to Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, and that he is allowed to go outdoors for one hour every day. Some reports allegedly claimed that the facility had inadequate ventilation and was overcrowded.
Kwon became a person of interest after escaping an investigation in South Korea following the unexpected crash of the TerraUSD and its related cryptocurrency, Luna, last year. His disappearance set off a global manhunt that involved the Interpol. Terra’s collapse was one of the high-profile crashes in 2022, setting off a market meltdown that engulfed other lenders, including Celsius Network and Voyager Digital.
kwon faces about eight charges, including wire fraud, commodities, and securities fraud in the US. The Securities and Exchange Commission has also filed civil charges against him for allegedly orchestrating a cryptocurrency scam that resulted in losses totaling billions of dollars between April 2018 and May 2022.
Kwon was said to have deceived customers regarding the Terra blockchain’s features, including “its technology and the extent to which it had been adopted by users.”