Chairman Lee Jung Hoon, known as Bithumb’s real owner, was found to be under investigation by the police on charges of escaping property.
According to Seoul Shinmun on the 22nd, in the process of transferring Bithumb shares, the police decided that Lee Jung Hoon, chairman of Bithumb Korea, who did not fulfill his obligation to report the Minister of Strategy and Finance under the Foreign Exchange Transaction Act, tried to take the assets abroad. Police are in the process of investigating him for the escape of property.
The police investigation involved the acquisition of Bithumb by President Kim Byeong Geon in 2018. At the time, Kim tried to acquire Bithumb through a Singapore subsidiary. It is a way to transfer domestic stocks to overseas corporations. Chairman Lee Jung Hoon is suspected of failing to comply with the reporting obligations in the process. Lee countered that the report was not related to the case. On the other hand, Seoul Shinmun reported that, according to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, holding a bond for the transfer price of the stock is considered to be subject to report
In October 2018, Lee signed a contract to sell 50% + 1 share of Bithumb Holdings (Bithumb Korea Holdings) to BTHMB Holdings. BTHMB is a company owned by SG Brain Technology Consulting. The company was founded by Chairman Lee Jung Hoon who owns 49.997% and President Kim Byeong Geon, and who holds 49.991% of the share.
President Kim is in the forefront of the acquisition, but in reality, Chairman Lee has a slightly larger stake. As the dispute over the ownership of Bithumb never ceases, it seems to have been intended to secure Bithumb Holdings shares and to strengthen the governance system. However, the contract was not completed as BTHMB Holdings was unable to pay the balance except the deposit (120 billion won). The plan to buy up to 70% stake in Bithumb Holdings has also collapsed.
Police are also investigating BXA investment fraud. BTHMB Holdings issued BXA in the process of acquiring Bithumb. When BXA was issued at a place where Bithumb was acquired, the cryptocurrency became a hot topic called ‘Bithumb Coin’. BTHMB listed BXA on Bithumb and attracted investors to sell BXA tokens worth about 30 billion won. There was no listing.
Ohkimslaw, a law firm, sued Kim and Lee torture on behalf of more than 60 BXA investors last year. BXA investors claimed that “BTHMB Holdings (Kim Byeong Geon Chairman, Lee Jung Hoon Advisor) hoped for the people who invested in BXA and made a profit in property”.
Meanwhile, Lee Jung Hoon was appointed as Chair of Bithumb Korea last April and appeared in the overall management. At the time, Lee said, “We will simplify the complex governance structure.” Bithumb Holdings is intricately intertwined with BTHMB Holdings (10.7%), DAA (30%), Others (25.06%) and Vidente (34.24%).
Bithumb Korea said, “BTHMB Holdings’ stake, DAA’s stake, and other stakes are Chairman Lee and his friendly stake. Chairman Lee has more than 65% stake.”