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Bithumb, South Korea's largest cryptocurrency exchange, is believed to have a real owner who has been detained on theft-related charges.
Kang Jong-hyun was detained on February 2 in connection with the claims of embezzlement, according to local media reports. A warrant for the businessman's arrest was issued by the Seoul Southern District Court on January 25 with a number of allegations, including neglect of duty, market manipulation, and fraudulent transactions.
The 41-year-old is Kang Ji-senior yeon's brother and the CEO of Bithumb affiliate Inbiogen. The company owns the largest holding in Vidente Vidente, which, with a 34.2% stake, is the largest stakeholder in Bithumb. Prosecutors claim that the brothers conspired to steal company funds and manipulate the stock prices of Inbiogen and the video production company Bucket Studio by issuing convertible bonds.
Kang Ji-yeon, CEO of Bucket Studio, apologized to the company's shareholders and stated that the allegations against his brother had not been confirmed.The largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea is also the subject of an inquiry by the South Korean National Tax Service agency. According to reports, as part of the continuing tax investigation, investigators searched Bithumb's headquarters in Seoul.
The story gets even more complicated because Park Mo, the largest shareholder in Bithumb, was discovered dead in front of his own house in late December. Due to claims of theft and market manipulation, he was also the focus of a probe. It was believed that Park Mo committed suicide as a result of the accusations made against him.