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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that Terraform Labs PTE, Ltd. and Do Kwon agreed to pay more than $4.5 billion following a unanimous jury verdict holding them liable for orchestrating a years-long fraud involving crypto asset securities that led to massive investor losses when the scheme unraveled.

A nine-day jury trial in April exposed the extent of the defendants’ lies to victims about the false use of the Terraform blockchain to settle transactions and about the stability of their crypto asset security, UST. The SEC also offered evidence at trial showing that, in May 2022, after UST de-pegged from the U.S. dollar, the price of UST and Terraform’s other tokens plummeted to close to zero. This wiped out $40 billion in market value nearly overnight and caused devastating losses to countless investors, including numerous retail investors who believed defendants’ lies and poured their life savings into Terraform’s ecosystem.

The SEC charged Terraform and Kwon in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on February 16, 2023, with securities fraud and for offering and selling securities in unregistered transactions. On December 28, 2023, the District Court found Terraform and Kwon liable for offering and selling crypto asset securities in unregistered transactions.

On January 21, 2024, Terraform filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. On April 5, 2024, a jury unanimously found Terraform and Kwon liable for securities fraud after less than two hours of deliberation.

As part of the settlement, Terraform agreed to pay $3,586,875,883 in disgorgement, $466,952,423 in prejudgment interest, and a $420,000,000 civil penalty. Terraform also agreed to stop selling its crypto asset securities, wind down its operations, replace two of its directors, and distribute its remaining assets to investor victims and creditors through a liquidation plan, subject to approval by the court in Terraform’s pending bankruptcy case.

Kwon agreed to pay $110,000,000 in disgorgement and $14,320,196 in prejudgment interest on a joint and several basis with Terraform, as well as an $80,000,000 civil penalty.

In addition, the defendants consented to the entry of a final judgment permanently enjoining them from violating the registration and fraud provisions they violated.

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