Korean crypto executives reportedly carried out illegal activities to make a profit of more than 2.98 billion Korean won ($2.26 million) during coin listings from various projects, according to local media reports.
Court documents from May 22, including an indictment, revealed that four individuals (Mr. Jeon, Mr. Kim, Mr. Ko and Mr. Hwang) all of whom were employees of the South Korean crypto exchange Coinone, had allegedly been involved in illegal activities.
The four men – two executives and two brokers – were charged with breach of trust and obstruction of business for market manipulation.
“Price manipulation causes misunderstandings about the trading volume and market price among general members of the exchange, and induces them to participate in the coin transaction and buy the coin,” said prosecutors.
The alleged incident lasted from November 2019 to December 2022, and accounted for nearly 25% of all tokens listed on the exchange with around 50 coins involved, according to a local South Korean newspaper, The JoongAng.
Coinone employees and executives were said to have required all projects to sign a market-making contract with a specific firm through brokers before a coin was listed.
The move was to ensure liquidity in trading volume after the newly listed coin, however, recipients of the contract were allegedly operating fraudulently by boosting trading volume artificially through cross-trade activities.
Additionally, the executives reportedly encouraged projects to sign contracts by offering to remove “listing deposits” once the deal was made.
Coinone – created with a focus on clients from Asian territories – provides blockchain-related financial services including cryptocurrency exchange, asset management and trading matching engines.
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