Prosecutors in South Korea are demanding life sentences for seven former executives of a now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange who were charged with defrauding investors of just under US$1.9 billion. The executives are not yet convicted, and the trial judge will deliver a verdict on Feb. 11.
- The executives of V Global allegedly took about 2.2 trillion KRW (US$1.87 billion) from 52,419 customers by promising a 300% profit on virtual asset investments, according to the Yonhap News Agency.
- They also allegedly guaranteed a US$1,000 commission to those who referred new customers to the exchange.
- Investors did receive a portion of the promised return, but prosecutors said those funds had been taken from the deposits of newer customers.
- The former CEO of V Global, surnamed Lee, has apologized to the victims and said there was no intention to defraud.
- Other former executives have vowed to pay back the investors, but have said they were unaware of the alleged fraud.
- Prosecutors are urging the court to give the maximum punishment of life in prison to the defendants if they are found guilty, to reflect the severity of the case that they say has destroyed victim families.