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Do Kwon’s Luxury Cars, Apartments Seized as Courts Freeze $2B of His Assets

by Jen

Assets tied to Kwon worth 2.33 trillion won were frozen while he awaits trial in Montenegro and faces eight criminal charges in the United States.

Key Takeaways

  • Korean courts have frozen $2 billion of Do Kwon's assets, seizing luxury cars and apartments.
  • Awaiting Kwon is a passport fraud trial in Montenegro and eight criminal fraud charges in the United States.

South Korean authorities have frozen around $2 billion worth of assets tied to Do Kwon, the CEO of blockchain firm Terraform Labs, as they continue their investigation into the catastrophic crash of cryptocurrencies Terra Classic (USTC) and Luna Classic (LUNC). 

Local legal insiders disclosed that Seoul’s Southern District Court approved a pre-indictment asset seizure request by prosecutors targeting Kwon’s wealth on May 10, according to local news outlet Hankyung. The request sought to freeze around 2.33 trillion Korean won (approximately $2 billion) in assets that Kwon allegedly accrued through criminal activities. This pre-indictment seizure prevents the disposal of assets or profits obtained by a defendant before a conviction is finalized.

The court’s decision puts a halt on Kwon’s potential decision to get rid of various high-value assets including the luxurious “Galleria Foret” apartment complex in Seoul’s Seongdong-gu district, the rights to newly constructed office-tels in Nonhyeon-dong and several imported luxury vehicles. In addition to these physical assets, financial holdings such as securities held with Mirae Asset Daewoo, deposits in Woori Bank, and cryptocurrencies in various exchanges are also now frozen. The court rejected requests to freeze some of Kwon’s other unspecified financial assets.

Kwon, currently indicted without detention, and Hyun Sung Shin, former CEO of Chai Corporation, co-founded Terraform Labs in 2018 and launched the USTC stablecoin and LUNC cryptocurrencies. Following the project’s collapse, Terraform Labs rebranded its cryptocurrencies: dollar-pegged TerraUSD (UST), which is now defunct, turned into Terra Classic; and the more speculative Terra (LUNA) rebranded to LUNA2 while the original LUNA blockchain was renamed Luna Classic (LUNC). 

 In May 2022, a drastic plunge in the value of these coins inflicted global investors with losses approximated at a staggering 50 trillion won, or around $44 billion.

Following the Terra crash, Kwon left South Korea and had been difficult to track until he was arrested in Montenegro on March 23, 2023, facing charges of using a counterfeit Costa Rican passport on his way to Dubai. Kwon is now awaiting trial in Montenegro for passport fraud charges, while the United States charged Kwon with eight criminal charges of fraud . Korean and United States prosecutors are uncertain when they will be able to secure his extradition.

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