Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon jailed for four months in Montenegro

South Korean cryptocurrency entrepreneur arrested in March with fellow executive Han Chang-joon for possession of false documents

Do Kwon is taken to court in Podgorica following his arrest in March at the Montenegrin capital's international airport. AFP
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Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon, the crypto entrepreneur who’s sought by the US and South Korea on fraud charges, was sentenced to four months in prison by a Montenegrin court for attempting to travel with a forged passport.

Han Chang-joon, the Terraform Labs chief financial officer, was convicted of the same crime and also received a four-month sentence, the Basic Court in Podgorica said on Monday.

Time already spent in detention is included in the prison terms and the two can appeal the verdict, the court said.

“Once we receive the verdict in writing, we will consult with our clients about possible appeal,” defence lawyer Goran Rodic said.

The court has up to 30 days to officially notify the defence as well as the prosecutor’s office, which can also appeal the verdict, Mr Rodic said.

Mr Kwon and Mr Han were arrested in Montenegro in March when they tried to board a private jet en route to Dubai.

The authorities acted on an international arrest warrant that was issued after the collapse of two digital tokens Mr Kwon helped create, a crash that wiped out at least $40 billion of market value. Prosecutors in South Korea and the US have charged him with fraud.

Montenegrin police said the two were found in possession of multiple passports, including forged Belgium and Costa Rican documents.

Both the US and South Korea are seeking Mr Kwon’s extradition from Montenegro, where officials have said they may consider handing him over after local criminal proceedings are completed.

A representative of the prosecutors’ office in Seoul declined to comment on the sentence or any potential extradition timeline for Mr Kwon.

Mr Kwon and Mr Han pleaded not guilty at their first court hearing in Montenegro in May. Last week, Mr Kwon told the court he obtained the documents in Singapore through an agency selling citizenships of various countries and believed the passports were genuine.

Updated: June 20, 2023, 4:27 AM