Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon will reportedly be extradited to the United States rather than South Korea to face criminal charges.
According to a Dec. 7 Wall Street Journal report citing people familiar with the matter, Justice Minister Andrej Milović in Montenegro plans to grant U.S. officials’ request for extradition. Kwon was arrested in Montenegro in March and sentenced to four months in prison for using falsified travel documents. He has also been charged in the U.S. and South Korea for his alleged role in the collapse of Terraform Labs.
Milović reportedly said the announcement would be made public “in a timely manner.” If extradited to the U.S., Kwon faces eight charges, including commodities fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to defraud and engage in market manipulation related to his time at Terra. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also charged Kwon with “defrauding investors in crypto schemes” in February.
The collapse of Terraform Labs in May 2022 was one of the major events kicking off a cryptocurrency market downturn. TerraUSD (UST) depegged from the U.S. dollar, and many firms filed for bankruptcy, including Voyager Digital, BlockFi, Celsius Network and FTX.
Before his arrest in Montenegro, Kwon’s whereabouts had been largely unknown, with many speculating the Terraform Labs co-founder had been based in Singapore. Though he will reportedly face officials in the United States first, some legal experts haven’t ruled out that Kwon could still be charged in South Korea as well. He has denied committing fraud.