1. April 2023

• The CEO of a bogus South Korean crypto bank has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for fraud and other charges – after defrauding investors out of $181 million.
• Two other QRC executives were also jailed, one for 5 years and the other for 3.
• The court heard that Ko had used two associated companies to give their scam a veneer of authenticity and had promised investors 300% returns on their investments.

South Korean Crypto Bank CEO Sentenced to 10 Years

The CEO of a bogus South Korean crypto bank has been handed a 10-year jail term – after duping investors out of a total of $181 million. The news outlets Chosun and Newsis reported that the CEO (surnamed Ko) led a firm named QRC Bank. Ko was convicted of fraud and other charges, while two other QRC executives were also jailed, with one receiving five years in prison and the other receiving three.

QRC Executives Promised Investors 300% Returns

A branch of the Seoul Central District Court Criminal heard that Ko had also headed two associated companies, named QRC Korea and Worldchain. The court heard that around 5,400 people invested in QRC-related programs. The court also heard that Ko began his program in December 2019, and had “deceived investors” by “guaranteeing them 300% returns on their crypto-related investments.” But like many similar scams, it was actually a front for a Ponzi operation: Ko actually paid older investors’ returns using newer investors’ money.

Rise in Bogus South Korean Crypto Banks & Exchanges

Ko and his associates had sold around $4 million worth of “shares” in QRC Bank, with Ko insisting that shareholders could expect lucrative payouts when the company expanded overseas. He even told investors that QRC Bank was set to be listed on the NASDAQ exchange in the United States. The presiding judge stated that Ko had “deceived large numbers of investors” into investing their hard-earned money into something they thought would provide lucrative returns but ended up being fraudulent instead.

25 Year Sentence For Fake Crypto Exchange Head

In January 2021, the Supreme Court sent the head of V Global – another fake crypto exchange which duped thousands of investors – to prison for 25 years as well; if this case is appealed it will go through two more trials before reaching its final verdict at Seoul’s Supreme Court level.


This case serves as yet another reminder about how important it is to properly vet any investment opportunity before diving into it; though there are plenty of legitimate opportunities out there, there are just as many scams waiting to take advantage unsuspecting victims who don’t do enough research beforehand!