The Seoul Southern District Court will hold the first trial on May 26 for Terraform Labs co-founder Shin Hyun-seung and seven other associates who have been charged with fraud related to the US$40 billion collapse of the Terra-Luna stablecoin and crypto project in May 2022, according to the local Yonhap News.

See related article: South Korea indicts Terra co-founder Daniel Shin; Shin rejects accusations

Fast facts

  • The Terra co-founder has assembled a team of 30 lawyers for his defense, according to Yonhap. The team reportedly includes eleven lawyers from a law firm that recently hired a former Seoul prosecutor that investigated the Terra-Luna collapse.
  • Local prosecutors indicted Shin and nine others on April 25, though none were arrested.  Shin and the seven Terraform employees were indicted for fraud. Two other individuals face charges of bribery related to the case, but no court date has been set.
  • Shin established Terraform Labs in 2018 with Kwon Do-hyeong, who is currently under arrest in Montenegro. Kwon was detained in the country last month for allegedly traveling on forged travel documents. 
  • Shin, the 38-year-old businessman and University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School graduate, founded Tmon Inc., a South Korean e-commerce company in 2010 and built into a business with revenues of US$100 million in 2021. 
  • Shin comes from a well connected family that includes his grandfather Shin Jik-soo, former minister of justice of Korea, and uncle Hong Seok-hyun, chairman of one of the country’s largest media groups, JoongAng Holdings. 
  • In a press conference on April 25, the director of the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office financial crime team Dan Sung-han said Shin’s part in the alleged financial fraud is greater than that of Terraform chief Kwon. However, prosecutors have failed to convince the local court to approve an arrest warrant for Shin despite two attempts.
  • The prosecutors accuse Shin of defrauding investors by promoting the Terra stablecoin as a potential payment measure, while knowing such services were prohibited. 
  • Shin’s lawyers told Forkast in an emailed statement on April 25 that the accusations are false, stating that financial authorities did not have a fixed position on the issue of crypto as a potential payment means at the time of Terra’s launch.
  • Shin and Terraform Labs have yet to respond to Forkast’s email inquiry for comments sent Thursday morning.

See related article: From billionaire to Montenegro jail: The rapid rise and fall of Terra chief Do Kwon