March 4, 2024

Haru Invest execs arrested for embezzling $830M

  • Three Haru Invest execs have been arrested for embezzling customer funds.
  • It is alleged that the execs diverted funds after falsely advertising the platform.
  • A class-action lawsuit has been filed, seeking clarity on investigations.

In a stunning turn of events, barely a day after Montenegro extradited Terraform Labs CFO to South Korea, South Korean authorities have arrested several executives of Haru Invest, a cryptocurrency yield platform, on embezzlement charges. The arrests follow the suspension of withdrawals from the platform in June 2023, leaving investors unable to access their funds.

Prosecutors allege that the executives stole approximately 1.1 trillion won ($830 million) worth of cryptocurrency from thousands of Haru Invest customers, sparking outrage and legal action.

Haru Invest execs face embezzlement charges

The Virtual Asset Crime Investigation Unit of the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors Office has arrested the CEO and two other executives of Haru Invest on charges of embezzling customer funds. The arrests follow a series of tumultuous events that have plagued the cryptocurrency yield platform since mid-2023.

Haru Invest, established in 2019, had initially captured investors’ attention by promising annual interest rates of up to 12% on cryptocurrency deposits. However, the platform’s abrupt suspension of withdrawals last June sparked widespread concern and scrutiny.

Prosecutors allege that between March 2020 and June 2023, the executives engaged in misappropriation, diverting customer funds while falsely portraying the platform’s operations as employing “risk-free diversified investment techniques.”

Haru Invest’s history

The downfall of Haru Invest unfolded rapidly after it paused withdrawals and deposits in June 2023, citing issues with service partners. After the withdrawal halt, approximately 100 employees were subsequently fired.

The platform claimed it was facing challenges due to the alleged fraudulent activity of consignment operator B&S Holdings, formerly Aventus, further fuelling suspicion.

Investors, including Delio, a depository and management company that also suspended withdrawals last year after being unable to access the funds it had in Haru Investassets, filed a class-action lawsuit against Haru in June 2023.

As the events unfold, the company’s “no information” updates and the CEO’s detention have left investors in limbo, desperately seeking clarity on the investigations and asset recovery efforts.

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