A banker in South Korea “illegally borrowed billions of Korean won” in the name of a relative – in order to invest in crypto, and prosecutors want to put them behind bars for a decade in order to set an example.
Per Newsis, the 40-year-old banker, referred to by the press as “A” for legal reasons, was tried at a branch of the Jeju District Court, where they pleaded guilty to violating the Act on the Aggravated Punishment of Specific Economic Crimes.
The court heard that A has “illegally borrowed” over USD 2.3m worth of fiat KRW “in the name of his mother and other relatives” in a period from October 2019 to March 2020 while working in the loans department of an unnamed bank branch in Jeju, a sub-tropical island province off the south coast of the Korean peninsula.
Prosecutors also explained that A had taken the decision after their “financial situation became difficult” due to disastrous stock market investment. A then “tampered with bank funds” and “illegally borrowed” the large sum to invest “in cryptocurrency.”
During the aforementioned time period, bitcoin (BTC) and most major altcoins were generally on the ascendency, so, most likely, A took a punt on a lesser-known altcoin – as the court added that the investment had been chalked up as a “loss.”
A’s lawyer appealed for clemency, telling the court that they were “committed to living an honorable life” and “returning to society after faithfully serving” their sentence.
The court will reconvene for sentencing on October 28.
A reportedly “bowed their head” in court and told the judge: “I am sorry to all the people who have been harmed, including my family and colleagues who all trusted in me.”
The prosecution, however, called for harsher punishment, stating:
“Crimes like those committed by the defendant crimes can lead to problems with public trust in financial institutions. They should be punished severely.”
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