Prosecutors file appeal in alleged fraud case involving ex-Bithumb chair: report

Quick Take

  • Prosecutors are appealing for jail time of eight years for Lee Jeong-hoon over alleged fraud after he was found not guilty in a ruling earlier this year.

Prosecutors in South Korea filed an appeal in an alleged fraud case involving Lee Jeong-hoon, former chair of local crypto exchange Bithumb. 

South Korean news outlet Seoul Economic Daily reported today that prosecutors had reiterated their call for an eight-year jail term for Lee, in an appeal hearing on Thursday. 

The case centers on the proposed October 2018 takeover of Bithumb, a plan involving both Lee and Kim Byung-kun, who was chair of BK Medical Group and a cosmetic surgeon, and alleged fraud-related wrongdoings involving at least 110 billion won ($85.2 billion).

Lee was previously found not guilty in the first instance — after prosecutors had sought eight years of jail time — earlier this year. The appeal judgment against Lee is scheduled for January 18, 2024, according to the local media report.


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The news comes less than a week after Bithumb was reportedly starting to plan for an initial public offering in Korea. Edaily reported on Sunday that Bithumb chose Samsung Securities as its underwriter last month for a potential IPO planned in the second half of 2025 on Kosdaq.

Bithumb did not immediately respond to The Block’s request for comment.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Timmy Shen is an Asia reporter for The Block. Previously, he wrote about crypto and Web3 for Forkast.News from Taiwan after spending more than three years in Beijing covering finance and current affairs at Caixin Global and Chinese tech at TechNode. His China-related reporting has also appeared in The Guardian. When he's not chasing headlines, you'll find him savoring hot pot and shabu shabu in a Taipei local haunt. Timmy holds an MS degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Send tips to [email protected] or get in touch on X/Telegram @timmyhmshen.


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