SEC Approves Trial Delay for Terraform Labs and Co-Founder Do Kwon in $40 Billion Crypto Fraud Case

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has greenlit a postponement of the civil trial against Terraform Labs and co-founder Do Kwon, accused of orchestrating a massive $40 billion cryptocurrency fraud. The delay aims to facilitate Kwon’s extradition for his attendance at the trial.

In a filing on Monday in Manhattan federal court, the SEC justified a “modest” adjournment of the January 29 trial based on Kwon’s expressed desire to attend, his agreement to extradition from Montenegro, and the potential for him to be in the United States by mid-March.

The SEC opposed separate trials for Terraform and Kwon, asserting that the cases were essentially identical. Holding two trials would unnecessarily subject whistleblowers and ordinary retail investors to testify twice, the SEC argued.

The decision on moving the trial date lies with US District Judge Jed Rakoff. The SEC has proposed April 15, taking into account scheduling conflicts.

Kwon’s legal representation sought a delay until at least March 18, and on Monday, assured that no further adjournments would be pursued, even if Kwon were unable to attend on the new date.

The case revolves around the collapse of TerraUSD, a “stablecoin” designed to maintain a constant $1 price, and Luna, a more traditional token closely linked to TerraUSD. Both cryptocurrencies suffered substantial losses, estimated at $40 billion or more, when TerraUSD failed to uphold its $1 peg in May 2022.

The SEC alleges that Terraform and Kwon misled investors regarding the stability of TerraUSD and misrepresented how a popular Korean mobile payment app utilized the Terraform blockchain for transaction settlements.

In a ruling last month, Judge Rakoff determined that Terraform and Kwon violated US law by failing to register TerraUSD and Luna.

Notably, Kwon faces additional US criminal charges and an extradition request from South Korea, his native country. He was arrested in Montenegro in March of last year.