South Korean police could reportedly take over from the “Yeouido Grim Reaper” financial crimes investigation unit in the probe of Terraform Labs after “embezzlement” charges were leveled at an unnamed employee.
The firm, which was launched in Singapore, shuttered its South Korean operations shortly before the recent terra (LUNA) “incident” – as it has been termed in South Korea. But, as previously reported, the “Grim Reaper” unit (officially the Financial and Securities Crime Coalition Team) – a team that reports to the Ministry of Justice and the prosecution service – has been assigned to investigate possible wrongdoings or financial irregularities in the lead-up to the crash.
The Fact reported that the Grim Reaper may be asked to step aside, however – as a police investigation may be required.
The media outlet quoted unnamed “legal community” sources as noting that while the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office has already launched an investigation into Do Kwon, Terraform’s co-founder, the Cyber Investigation Division of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency “received information in the middle of this month that a person believed to be an employee of Terraform Labs had been suspected of embezzling corporate funds.”
Police are reportedly “investigating” the case, with suggestions they may have asked “exchanges” and other financial institutions to temporarily freeze assets while officers continue their investigation.
Some of these allegations may have resulted from one of the many civil legal cases that have been brought forward by investors in South Korea, with a number of lawyers representing hundreds of investors hoping to bring their cases to court.
However, as some of these cases appear to involve accusations of criminal wrongdoing, the police may be required to move in.
The media outlet pointed out that the situation has been complicated by the fact that some of the individual cases brought against Terraform allege damage worth under USD 400,000. Under South Korean law, prosecutors cannot directly investigate financial crimes worth under this amount. For this reason, a number of investors have attempted to bring joint cases to prosecutors – mainly under the banner of major law firms.
Legal experts quoted by the same media outlet opined that charges could be hard to prove in this case – due largely to the fact that tokens are not viewed on the same footing as money in the legal sphere. They also claimed that it would likely be hard to prove that there was “intent” to defraud or cause financial damage on Terraform’s part – and that this could be key in any investigation or criminal/civil case.