Disgraced Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon’s appeal in his document forgery case has been rejected by a High Court in Montenegro.
Judge finds Kwon’s appeal based on “unfounded” claims
According to a statement by the High Court of Podgorica, claims made in the appeal by Do Kwon and his co-conspirator, Terraform Labs executive Han Chang-Joon, were “rejected as unfounded.”
Kwon and Chang-Joon were arrested in March of 2023 at Montenegro’s main airport for document forgery as they attempted to board a plane headed for Dubai with falsified passports.
“I’m not on the run or anything similar”
Kwon’s detainment followed nearly a year-long manhunt for the crypto tycoon as he persistently evaded authority following the crash of his tokens, TerraUSD and Luna, by hiding out in numerous locales across Asia and Europe including Serbia, Dubai, and Montenegro.
The now infamous crash of Kwon’s doomed cryptocurrency coins occurred in May 2022 and cost the market an estimated $40 billion overall.
Kwon’s native country, South Korea, put out a warrant for his arrest in early September 2022 following evidence that the crypto founder’s blockchain merchant technology was based on false pretenses.
“I’m not ‘on the run’ or anything similar,” Kwon tweeted on September 17th, 2022. However, nearly a week later, global policing body Interpol issued a red notice for Kwon’s arrest.
At that point, Kwon had flown out to Dubai from Terraform Labs’ headquarters in Singapore before ultimately hiding out in Belgrade, Serbia, where Chang-Joon had an apartment.
In February 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against the Terraform Labs founder for committing fraud.
By the following month, Kwon had crossed into Montenegro where he was ultimately caught and sentenced to four months for document forgery.
Poor jail conditions and future extradition
The statement by the High Court continues that it “believes that the imposed punishments are adequate to the gravity of the committed crime.”
Kwon is currently wanted for extradition both by the United States and South Korea. With Kwon deemed a flight risk, Spuž Prison, the correctional facility in Montenegro where he is currently housed, will allow him to stay past his four-month sentence until his extradition is finalized.
However, the prison has a long history of accusations of overcrowding, poor food quality, and lack of medical treatment. In 2013, inmates at Spuž staged a hunger strike to demand better living conditions.
It is currently unclear exactly when Kwon will be extradited and whether it will be to either the United States or South Korea.