Terra co-founder Do Kwon has asked that a U.S. court delay the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) trial against him, pending his extradition from Montenegro.
In a filing first seen by Inner City Press, lawyers for Kwon said that with his extradition not likely to take place until February or March, an adjournment to mid-March “would provide a realistic possibility for Mr. Kwon to attend.”
Should the court decline to push back the date of the trial, Kwon’s lawyers added, the Terra co-founder intends to ask that the court provide the jury with an instruction regarding his absence and his inability to testify that is “not unduly prejudcial” to him.
The Terra co-founder was the subject of a jurisdictional tug-of-war between the U.S. and South Korea, both of which are pursuing criminal charges against him for his role in the collapse of the Terra ecosystem in 2022.
Kwon faces criminal fraud charges in the U.S. from federal prosecutors in New York, as well as a civil lawsuit by the SEC, which accused him of “orchestrating a multi-billion dollar crypto asset securities fraud.”
South Korean prosecutors, meanwhile, have hit Kwon with charges of financial crimes including fraud, violations of capital-markets laws, manipulating transaction volumes using “trader bots” and bribery. Do Kwon faces over four decades behind bars, according to Dan Sunghan, the financial crime investigation bureau at the Seoul Southern District Prosecution.
The charges relate to the spectacular collapse of Terra’s ecosystem after its algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD depegged from the U.S. dollar in 2022. The domino effect of Terra’s collapse rippled outward, contributing to a bear market that saw several crypto projects with exposure to the Terra ecosystem to declare bankruptcy.