According to reports, The Seoul Central District Court has sentenced several executives of a South Koran crypto exchange Coinup, to varying jail terms. The executives are accused of defrauding several thousand customers and investors, making promises for returns they had no plan to keep.

CEO Kang Seok-jung, the 53-year-old head of the exchange, was sentenced by the Judge So Byeong-seok, for 16 years, after being found guilty of violating Specific Economic Crimes. Reportedly, the executives devised a plan to attract people to invest in the company’s own digital currency, promising the unsuspecting public up to 200% in returns. The investors were convinced that the value of the asset will surge as soon as it is listed on exchanges. Regardless of repeated promises, this never happened and Coinup used money from recent investors to pay older ones. According to the judge:

“They created a plausible appearance, including a magazine with a photograph of the current president. In light of the consequences, the crime is serious.”

Other executives that were sentenced include the firm’s CFO who got 11 years and a few others who bagged between 6 and 9 years respectively. Coinup is said to have received about 450 billion won (roughly $386 million) in total, from the investors.

South Korea’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recently tightened regulations for crypto exchanges.

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