- Bithumb’s valid owner, Kang Jong-hyun, is being investigated by the Korean prosecutor’s office on suspicion of manipulating stock prices and embezzling company money.
- Kang Jong-hyun’s younger sister, who is also a big fan, is also being questioned.
- Earlier in October, a number of companies related to Bithumb were also searched for investigation.
South Korean prosecutors have summoned Kang Jong-hyun, known as Bithumb’s valid owner, on suspicion that he and his sister Kang Ji-yeon also manipulated Bithumb’s stock price and embezzled it.
Kang Jong-hyun is considered the anonymous chairman of Bithumb because the company holds a 34% stake in another of his companies, Vidente. Meanwhile, Vidente is the largest shareholder of Bithumb Holdings, the parent company of Bithumb.
However, Vidente and Inbiogen – the two companies where Kang Jong-hyun is the chairman – denied that Mr. Kang was the chairman and said only the chairman was Kang Ji-yeon, Kang Jong-hyun’s sister. This raises suspicions that Kang is operating under his sister’s name.
Today, an investigation into allegations of embezzlement by affiliates of Bithumb, one of the largest virtual asset exchanges in South Korea, was conducted, according to reports from Korean media.
Seoul Southern District Prosecutor’s Office, Financial Investigation Division 2 (Chief Prosecutor Chae Hee-man) is investigating Kang Jong-hyun, known to be the actual owner of Bithumb. Last week, Kang Ji-yeon, CEO of Vident, Kang’s younger sister and “biggest shareholder of Bithumb,” was summoned and investigated twice. He was accused of tampering with capital markets and stealing company money through stock price manipulation.
On the afternoon of October 7, last year, the Financial Investigation Division 2 of the Seoul Southern District Prosecutor’s Office searched and confiscated the Vident headquarters in Geumcheon-gu, Seoul. Source: Korean media
Since last year, the prosecution has been investigating allegations of embezzlement, breach of trust, and stock price manipulation of Bithumb-related companies. In October last year, Bithumb Vident’s largest shareholder, Inbiogen, the largest shareholder of Vident and Bucket Studio, was confiscated and searched, and the company’s executives and employees were investigated.
In December last year, a Vident executive was put on trial for the destruction of evidence and concealment.
Bithumb and Upbit account for most of the domestic virtual asset trading market share. Bithumb is the second-largest virtual asset exchange in the industry, with more than 8 million users.
Recently, the virtual currency market has been depressed, and the trading volume of virtual currency has decreased significantly. Still, until the third quarter of last year, the sales revenue and accumulated operating profit were 273.7 billion won, respectively, and 151.7 billion won.
Prosecutors are investigating whether the Kang cousins spread misinformation about Bithumb sales and stock price manipulation and whether they stole the company’s money through regular bond issuance conversion and created black funds through this or not.
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