The criminal charges out of the US add to civil charges he's facing from the SEC, as well as an investigation out of South Korea.
After the collapse, Kwon became a fugitive. South Korea issued a warrant for his arrest in September, and Interpol issued a red notice. However, he's remained on the lam for some time, reportedly hiding in Serbia for a time — a country with no extradition agreement with South Korea.
Now, officials in Montenegro have announced they arrested Do Kwon, who was attempting to travel through the country using falsified documents. Montenegro is a Balkan country bordering Serbia.
According to the SEC, Kwon "repeatedly misled and deceived investors" about the characteristics and stability of Terra and Luna, and tricked investors into believing that a popular Korean mobile payments platform used the Terra blockchain.
Kwon has been on the run from the law since Korean authorities filed a warrant for his arrest in September 2022. An Interpol red notice followed soon after. He is reportedly hiding out in Serbia, and Korean authorities reportedly traveled there in early February to hunt for him.
- "SEC Charges Terraform and CEO Do Kwon with Defrauding Investors in Crypto Schemes", United States Securities and Exchange Commission
South Korea reportedly freezes $39.6 million in crypto belonging to Terra founder Do Kwon, Kwon says it isn't his
Kwon claims that the report is a "falsehood", and "I don't know whose funds they've frozen". This joins his other claims, such as that he is "not 'on the run' or anything similar" (he is), and that Interpol didn't issue a red notice for him (they have).
Kwon and the others named in the warrant are currently in Singapore. In June, Korea banned current and former Terraform Labs employees from leaving the country, and in July Korean authorities raided multiple exchanges in connection to their investigation.
Terra decides to release "Terra 2.0", because apparently the way to fix a crypto catastrophe is with more crypto
Billy Markus, one of the original creators of the Dogecoin cryptocurrency (both of whom have since left the project), tweeted, "luna 2.0 will show the world just how truly dumb crypto gamblers really are".
Another Korean group, calling themselves "Victims of Luna, UST coins", has amassed 1,500 members and reportedly plans to file a lawsuit against Kwon and Terraform Labs' other cofounder, Shin Hyun-Seong (who is also known as Daniel Shin, and is no longer with Terraform Labs).
This development may be particularly inconvenient for Kwon and Shin, given Terra's legal team quit the company the previous day.
On June 17, another investor filed a separate lawsuit against Terraform Labs, Kwon, and various others in a US court.
Do Kwon has never disclosed his involvement with this failed project. CoinDesk wrote that although their "default position is to respect the privacy of pseudonymous actors with established reputations under their well-known handles unless there is an overwhelming public interest in revealing their real-world identities", there was now "such public interest as Kwon's UST stablecoin death spirals, wreaking havoc across the broader cryptocurrency market. Amid this precarious situation, investors deserve to know that UST was not Kwon's sole attempt at making an algorithmic stablecoin work." It was not made clear in the article when CoinDesk first learned of Kwon's connection to Basis Cash, though the authors later stated they'd learned of it the night before they published.