Jinwook Shin, the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Bitsonic, has received a seven-year prison sentence for manipulating the crypto market and inflating the exchange’s operating profit, resulting in the extraction of over 10 billion from users, equivalent to roughly $7.5 million.
Additionally, Bae Mo, the CTO, was convicted of obstructing business operations and sentenced to one year in prison.
Crypto Exchange Bitsonic CEO Sentenced to Long Prison Sentence
A recent local report claims that the South Korean prosecutor accused Shin of not operating the crypto exchange faithfully for his customers’ benefit.
“He disguised the exchange as operating normally and swindled over 10 billion won from numerous victims over a long period.”
The prosecutor further alleges that Shin manipulated the price of Bitsonic’s native token between January 2019 and May 2021.
Furthermore, allegations surfaced that the CTO, Mo, interfered with trading operations to help Shin extract more profits from the exchange. The judge emphasized that Mo’s involvement tarnished the reputation of crypto exchanges:
“He developed and operated a program that undermined the essential function of the exchange, causing significant erosion of trust in virtual asset exchanges.”
Shin’s arrest on the allegations occurred approximately six months prior to the issuance of the lengthy sentence.
Bitsonic CEO Arrested Last Year
In August 2023, BeInCrypto reported that Shin faces charges ranging from forgery to violating other criminal provisions. Reports also indicate that authorities have indicted the Vice President of the exchange for obstruction of business charges.
The cyber division of the prosecutor’s office in Seoul arrested 40-year-old Shin. At the time, it was reported that Shin allegedly started manipulating computer systems to artificially inflate the prices of certain cryptos and their trading volumes.
Meanwhile, there is speculation that the former CEO of Binance could be in for a longer prison sentence. Changpeng “CZ” Zhao awaits sentencing following being charged with violating the Bank Secrecy Act.
In November 2023, BeInCrypto reported that the DOJ advocates for stringent pre-sentencing restrictions as the,
“United States is free to argue for any sentence up to the statutory maximum of ten years.”