Terra Founder Do Kwon Asks US Court To Delay Trial

In a letter to Judge Jed S. Rakoff, counsel for Do Kwon, the former CEO of Terra, has formally requested the postponement of his trial in the United States. The trial, which addresses charges brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is facing potential delay due to slower extradition proceedings from Montenegro than Kwon’s legal team had anticipated.

Do Kwon Requests US Court To Delay Trial

The letter, sent to the Southern District of New York’s court, outlines the current situation and the reasons behind the request for adjournment: “We represent Do Hyeong Kwon and write in response to the Court’s December 29, 2023 order… Mr. Kwon is not likely to be extradited until February or March at the earliest,” the letter states, highlighting the unexpected delay in Kwon’s return to the US to face trial.

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“We understand the Court cannot put the trial on hold indefinitely, but an adjournment until mid-March would provide a realistic possibility for Mr. Kwon to attend. For these reasons, Mr. Kwon does not waive his right to attend and requests a short adjournment of the trial date to allow for his attendance,” Do Kwon’s request further reads.

It specifies that an adjournment until mid-March would provide a “realistic possibility” for him to attend. Moreover, Kwon’s legal team is not only asking for the trial to be delayed but is also preparing for the scenario where the trial proceeds without Kwon’s presence:

Should the Court decline to adjourn the trial date, Mr. Kwon intends to ask the Court to provide the jury with an instruction… that is not unduly prejudicial to him.

The letter to Judge Rakoff demonstrates the importance Kwon places on participating in his trial, potentially a critical factor in the defense’s strategy.

The call for a delay follows a recent development in Montenegro where the extradition order for Do Kwon was overturned due to procedural errors and ambiguities. The decision made by the Podgorica-based Appeals Court has sent the case back to the Supreme Court for further review, as reported by Bitcoinist.

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Until a resolution, Do Kwon remains in detention in Montenegro. The local authorities extended his hold until mid-February, allowing them time to resolve whether he should be sent to the United States or South Korea.

SEC Charges Against Terra And Kwon

This legal development arises amidst the lawsuit by the SEC, which has charged Kwon and Terraform Labs with conducting a multi-billion dollar crypto asset securities fraud. The SEC’s complaint, which covers the period from April 2018 to May 2022, states that Terraform Labs and Kwon raised funds through the sale of crypto asset securities, including “mAssets,” security-based swaps, and Terra USD (UST), an algorithmic stablecoin.

These offerings were conducted in many unregistered transactions, attracting billions of dollars from investors. The SEC further accuses Terraform and Do Kwon of misleading investors about the tokens’ value, falsely claiming that they would increase in value and marketing UST as a “yield-bearing” stablecoin with high-interest returns through the Anchor Protocol.

Furthermore, allegations include misrepresentations about the use of the Terra blockchain for settlement transactions by a popular Korean mobile payment app, Chai, and misleading investors about UST’s stability. The dramatic depegging of the UST from the US dollar in May 2022 led to a catastrophic collapse in the price of the UST and its sister tokens.

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At press time, Terra Luna Classic (LUNC) traded at $0.000129049.

LUNC price, 1-week chart | Source: LUNCUSD on TradingView.com

Featured image from Balkan Insight, chart from TradingView.com

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Author: Jake Simmons

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