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Disgraced Luna founder Do Kwon says he’s not on the run. But nobody knows where he is.

Disgraced Luna founder Do Kwon says he's not on the run.  But nobody knows where he is.
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The person most closely associated with Last Spring crypto crash appears to be on the run after an arrest warrant was issued for him – and investigators have asked for Interpol’s help to track him down.

Do Kwon, the South Korean developer of the Cryptocurrencies TerraUSD and Luna, is believed to have been in Singapore since at least the spring, when these coins lost almost all of their value. But the authorities of Singapore said this weekend He is no longer there, and South Korean investigators have reportedly asked Interpol to issue a “red notice” that would allow officials in member countries to arrest Kwon pending extradition if they find him.

Last Wednesday, the Seoul South District Attorney’s Office issued an arrest warrant for Kwon and five other people who worked on both the currencies and Terraform Labs, the company that Kwon co-founded. Prosecutors did not list any charges, but investors said he deceived them in promoting the coins. TerraUSD — which used a computer program that claimed to peg its value to the US dollar — and a related token called Luna both launched last year, each multiplying in value dozens of times before crashing in May.

A Terra spokesman did not respond to a request for comment. Kwon also did not respond to a request for comment. He said on Twitter on Sunday, “We are in the process of defending ourselves in multiple jurisdictions – we have held ourselves to an extremely high standard of integrity and we look forward to clarifying the truth over the next few months.”

The Red Notice request was original reported from the Financial Times.

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The Kwon case is being closely watched as it is a sign of how aggressively law enforcement will prosecute those involved in allegedly illegal activities in the crypto space. Last month the Treasury imposed sanctions on Tornado Cash, which helps anonymize crypto transactions, a strong example of a crackdown on technology-based financial instruments.

But the prosecution of individuals in crypto is much rarer, and Kwon’s case could be a role model for how other projects that have lost large sums in value could be targeted in court — and whether some investors might eventually reclaim their money.

Kwon, 31, graduated from Stanford University and briefly worked at Apple before returning to his home country a few years ago to found a number of crypto projects, including Luna. Before the spring crash, Kwon was hailed as a visionary, even attracting a cult of everyday fans known as the “Lunatics.”

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It wasn’t just retailers — Terraform also raised money from related financiers like Silicon Valley VC firm Lightspeed Venture Partners.

But in May, for reasons that are still unclear, a rapid sell-off began, leading to more than $40 billion in value, according to analytics firm Elliptic, as Luna’s price fell to almost zero and TerraUSD from $1 to $0.11 rose. The collapse helped spark a broader crypto crash affected dozens of other assets and companies.

Bitcoin has surged from nearly $40,000 to below $20,000 since Terra’s collapse and the overall market value of crypto has plummeted more than a trillion dollars in just a few months.

Kwon made an attempt to restart Luna shortly after indignation many investors.

Law enforcement experts said they thought prosecution of the entrepreneur was possible, but a challenge given crypto’s whims as the line is often blurred in the industry between fraud and risky investments.

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“If someone walks into a bank and holds it up with a videotape of the whole thing for a lot of money, then that’s a pretty clear case,” said William Callahan III, a former special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration who now serves as director of government and strategic affairs of a crypto company called Blockchain Intelligence Group. “Investigating and prosecuting something like this requires much more unique skills.”

He said the case against Kwon will likely depend on whether it can be carried out and he knowingly believed that investors were after the coins or campaigning in good faith for a risky but legal venture.

Some evidence gathered by South Korean investigators so far, according to local media, contains Allegations that Kwon and other Terraform executives decided to close their offices in South Korea just a week before currencies crashed. Kwon said the formwork had been a long time in the works.

On Sunday, the persecution of Kwon took a surreal turn on social media when Kwon openly took to Twitter to deny that he is a refugee.

“I’m not ‘on the run’ or anything – for any government agency that has shown an interest in communicating, we are fully cooperating and have nothing to hide,” he said Posted.

But Seoul prosecutors were quick to deny this. He was “obviously on the run,” the agency said in a statement. corresponding local news agency Yonhap.

Kwon joked that he would only reveal his coordinates if “1) we’re friends, 2) we have plans to meet up, 3) we’re involved in a GPS-based Web3 game”.

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