Seoul/Atlanta (CNN) Interpol says a man arrested in Montenegro is Kwon Do-hyeong, also known as Do Kwon, the disgraced founder of a collapsed crypto company wanted in South Korea and the United States on fraud and other charges.
Kwon, a South Korean national, founded the blockchain platform behind the TerraUSD stablecoin and its sister coin Luna. Both coins lost their value within days in May 2022, wiping out about $40 billion from the crypto market and creating panic in the speculative sector.
Kwon’s identity was confirmed through a fingerprint match, Interpol’s Seoul national central office told CNN Friday.
A day earlier, Montenegrin Interior Minister Filip Adžić wrote on social media that a man, believed to be Kwon, had been arrested in the capital Podgorica.
“He was arrested at the airport with false documents and is wanted by several countries, including the US, South Korea and Singapore,” Adžić said in a Facebook post.
Kwon was based in Singapore while running the blockchain platform Terraform Labs. Seoul prosecutors told CNN in December that the crypto entrepreneur was believed to be in Serbia, where he was hiding after leaving Singapore via Dubai.
In September, a South Korean court issued an arrest warrant for Kwon after he was accused of fraud by investors in the country following the collapse of his company.
Kwon has been charged with fraud and violations of South Korea’s capital markets law. He said in October that he did not believe the allegations were legitimate, claiming they were “politically motivated”.
The crypto developer has repeatedly claimed on Twitter that he was not “on the run” but refused to reveal his whereabouts due to concerns for his personal safety.
Terraform Labs was behind TerraUSD, a stablecoin theoretically intended to maintain a price of $1.
The collapse of TerraUSD and Luna, two pegged coins, was the start of the so-called “crypto winter,” from which the industry struggled to recover, even as it took another massive blow from the fall of crypto exchange FTX in November.
— CNN’s Jake Kwon reported
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