Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon has been charged with fraud by United States prosecutors in New York, just hours after he was reportedly arrested in Montenegro.
In a court filing signed by United States Attorney Damian Williams, the 31-year-old entrepreneur has been charged with eight separate counts, including commodities fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to defraud and engage in market manipulation.
Under the first charge, conspiracy to defraud, the U.S. prosecutors claim to have jurisdiction over Kwon because he made a series of false and misleading statements during a TV interview that was transmitted to — among other places — the Southern District of New York, about the extent to which the Terra blockchain had been adopted by users.
ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST WANTED FUGITIVES WAS ARRESTED IN PODGORICA
Montenegrin police have detained a person suspected of being one of the most wanted fugitives, South Korean citizen Do Kwon, co-founder and CEO of Singapore-based Terraform Labs.
— vedbajoria (@VedBajoria) March 23, 2023
The filing comes as Filip Adzic, the minister of interior of Montenegro, reported on March 23 that an individual suspected of being the former “cryptocurrency king” was detained at the Podgorica airport with “falsified documents.”
The suspect, believed to be Kwon, was detained in Podgorica Airport with fellow business partner Hon Chang Joon while trying to fly to Dubai, Adzic stated.
In a follow-up tweet, the Montenegro Interior Ministry reported that Kwon used forged travel documents from Costa Rica.
Related: Terra co-founder Do Kwon says he’s not ‘on the run’
South Korean prosecutors issued an arrest warrant against Kwon on Sept. 14, who faces a series of fraud charges and breaches of capital markets law in his home state. Interpol has also issued a red notice listing for his arrest on Sept 26 and the United States Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has also filed fraud charges of their own on Feb. 16.
The charges laid against him are in relation to his alleged role in the collapse of the $40 billion Terra Luna Classic (LUNC) token and TerraClassicUSD stablecoin (USTC) last May.
Since the collapse, Kwon has reportedly moved between Singapore, Dubai and Serbia.
The South Korean foreign ministry officially canceled Kwon’s passport on Oct. 20, after he failed to surrender his passport following an October 6 order.
Magazine: SEC sues Do Kwon, Paxos ready to litigate, SBF’s VPN: Hodler’s Digest, Feb. 12-18