V Global’s seven executives, who were allegedly involved in misappropriating up to US$1.9B, were declared guilty on the previous Friday, and Lee Byung-Jul (the CEO of the company) got sentenced to imprisonment of 22 years. The remaining six executives, who were the alleged collaborators in the crypto scam, were sentenced to 14 years, according to the extent of their involvement. The prosecutors, in January, claimed life sentences in the case of the executives.
A minimum of 52,419 investors were deprived of their funds in the currently ceased South Korea-based exchange of cryptocurrency, while a few of them lost their entire life savings. The verdict of South Korea over the biggest crypto scam across history can potentially provide a standard for the legal penalty over the scams aiming at the unique, as well as the less traceable crypto assets. In just 2021, up to 219 fraud cases dealing with crypto were nabbed on the behalf of the South Korean police and some of them were similar to the pyramid scheme of V Global, however, none of them had such an enormity.
A majority of the affected people were senior or middle-aged citizens who had a dream of spending an established life following their retirement, as told by Han Sang-jun (the attorney of a law firm Daegun and representative of the group of people who invested in V Globa. He disclosed that one of them did suicide after knowing about being scammed on the behalf of the crypto exchange.
The prosecutors brought out that investors were allured by V Global through the assurances that they would get 300% gains on depositing 6M won (nearly US$5,000), before being a part of the digital exchange.
A few among the investors were provided with some ratio of the promised profit, nevertheless, prosecutors claimed that the executives took those funds from the newly coming consumers. An information security professor at Dongguk University – Hwang Suk-jin – stated that the criminals involved in such cases should be given imprisonment of 80 to 100 years to signify that the spreading of this kind of disorder in the market economy, as well as society, is a matter that is seriously dealt with.
Hwang added that in cases like this, the scammed funds are usually hidden at some anonymous place, and such criminals do not utilize the civil liabilities thereof to recompense, thus the affected people remain affected.