Coinnest CEO Accused Of Taking 1 Billion Won Bribe

Top executives of the prominent crypto exchange face bribery charges over “unfair” coin listing.


CEO Kim Ik-hwan and COO Cho of Coinnest, one of the largest crypto exchanges in South Korea, have been indicted for accepting a bribe in return for listing an unexamined and fragile cryptocurrency called S Coin, the local media outlet Korea IT Times reported.

The financial investigation department of the Seoul Southern District Public Prosecutors’ Office announced that the two executives had been accused of receiving a bribe from the CEO of S Coin, the company pushing on its currency in order to get it listed on Coinnest.

The CEO of S Coin, whose name is also Kim, offered Kim Ik-hwan and Cho a kickback for help with the listing process, although the technology behind his coin was “weak,” according to Korea IT Times.

The Coinnest executives agreed to accept a bribe for a total amount of KRW1 billion, which is approximately $890,000, the news outlet adds. The money was received in February of this year, mostly in bitcoins and partially in S Coins, and in return, Coinnest provided S Coin with “unfair” advantages.

Specifically, as the investigators explained, in order to speed up the listing process and the listing date, the Coinnest executives didn’t examine thoroughly the S coin technology, which in fact proved to be faulty.

Notably, this is not the first time that Kim Ik-hwan and Cho are accused of illegal activities and violating “the law on specific economic crimes, including fraud.” Back in April 2018, they were arrested and put on trial for alleged embezzling customer funds. At that time, they were accused of selling fake and non-existent coins, while Kim was also suspected of transferring clients’ funds to his own accounts. The previous case was precedent-setting in that an executive of a South Korean exchange was detained.

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