South Korean prosecutors have arrested several executives of the troubled cryptocurrency yield platform Haru Invest, which suspended withdrawals in June 2023.
The virtual asset crime investigation unit of the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors Office has arrested three key individuals behind Haru Invest, local news agency Yonhap reported on Feb. 6.
The arrested persons included Haru Invest’s CEO and two other executives, the prosecutors reportedly announced. The execs are detained on charges of stealing 1.1 trillion won ($830 million) in cryptocurrency from 16,000 Haru Invest customers.
According to the prosecution, Haru Invest executives misappropriated most of the coins deposited by customers by reinvesting the assets from March 2020 to June 2023. The exes allegedly falsely advertised Haru as operating a stable business using “risk-free diversified investment techniques.”
The news comes shortly after Haru Invest posted another “no information” announcement. The firm took to X on Feb. 4 to note that there are “no particular updates to share this week.” The statement is signed by Haru Invest CEO Hugo Lee. It reads:
“As of now, no information is available regarding the investigations and overall situation following the detention of Bang Jun-ho, the major shareholder of B&S Holdings. We continue our various efforts for asset recovery as we have been doing.”
Haru Invest subsequently claimed that the issues were caused by the alleged fraudulent activity of consignment operator B&S Holdings, formerly known as Aventus.
Established in 2019, Haru Invest ran a cryptocurrency yield platform, marketing its services as offering investors the opportunity to earn annual interest rates of up to 12% on cryptocurrency deposits.
Following the suspension of withdrawals, Delio and other affected investors filed a class-action lawsuit against Haru in June 2023.