South Korea arrests Haru Invest executives under $826 million embezzlement allegation

South Korean prosecutors announced Monday that they have arrested and detained three executives of crypto yield platform Haru Invest, including its two co-CEOs.

Seoul prosecutors accused the three of stealing about 1.1 trillion Korean won ($826 million) worth of cryptocurrencies from around 16,000 users, an official from the Seoul Southern District Prosecutor’s Office told The Block.

Haru also allegedly invested most of its client deposits through one individual while falsely advertising that deposits were managed with “risk-free distributed investment techniques.” Haru Invest offered up to 12% yield for its Earn Plus product users.

Local authorities have been investigating Haru and crypto lender Delio after both firms abruptly suspended withdrawals on June 14, 2023. Delio attributed the suspension to the sudden halt of deposits and withdrawals earlier that day at Haru Invest, with which Delio had previously collaborated.

On the same day, Haru filed a criminal complaint against consignment operator B&S Holdings, alleging that it deceived the company with false reports while losing over $260 million in the collapse of FTX.

South Korean prosecutors last month issued an arrest warrant for one individual named Bang, a majority shareholder of B&S. Due to South Korea’s privacy rules, Bang’s full name remains undisclosed.

“[We] will thoroughly identify the true nature [of the alleged crime] through the investigation, while doing the best to recover damages and return criminal proceeds,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement shared with The Block.

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