Montenegro will extradite Terra co-founder Do Kwon to the U.S., according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, the WSJ reported that Montenegro’s Justice Minister, Andrej Milovic, had privately said he plans to send Do Kwon to the U.S. rather than South Korea. The Terraform Labs co-founder faces charges in both countries and has been the subject of a jurisdictional battle between the two countries.
Do Kwon’s extradition was approved by a Montenegro court last month; the disgraced crypto mogul will first serve a four-month sentence for document forgery in Montenegro, after being caught trying to leave the country on a false passport.
The South Korean national is under indictment in his home country and the U.S. following the collapse of Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD (UST) and the platform’s native asset LUNA. The implosion of the two cryptocurrencies wiped billions of dollars off the crypto market in a matter of days, leading to a market contagion that has plagued the industry since.
Kwon faces criminal fraud charges in the U.S. from federal prosecutors in New York, as well as a civil lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In South Korea, he faces charges of financial crimes including fraud, violations of capital-markets laws, manipulating transaction volumes using “trader bots” and bribery.
Speaking to the WSJ, the head of the South Korean investigative team Dan Sung-han said that, “we think investigating the case in South Korea would be the most efficient way of bringing justice” to investors. The investigator added that Kwon would likely face the longest jail term for a financial crime in South Korea’s history.
For the time being, however, Do Kwon’s main concern will be U.S. prosecutors.