Korean banker arrested for $15m loan scheme, crypto spending: report

A Woori Bank employee has reportedly been arrested for embezzling $15 million by manipulating loan documents and using the stolen funds to buy crypto.

A Woori Bank employee has been arrested on Monday after being indicted for embezzling ₩18 billion (approximately $15 million USD) through the manipulation of loan documents and subsequent investment in cryptocurrencies.

According to local news reports, the employee, who managed corporate loans at a Woori Bank branch in Gimhae, South Korea, allegedly falsified loan documents 35 times over a 10-month period from July 2023 to May this year. The fraudulent loans were taken out in the names of 17 customers, including both individuals and companies.

The investigation revealed that the fraudulent activities were facilitated by “inadequate bank management and supervision,” such as staff handling urgent loan approvals in the absence of the authorized approver, and headquarters sending loan funds directly to branches instead of the borrower’s account.

Prosecutors have reportedly frozen assets worth about $3.2 million, including deposits in crypto exchanges, banks, and loan firms, through seizure and preservation measures.

Earlier, crypto.news reported that South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service is working on a system to monitor unusual crypto trading activity, aiming to enhance transparency and oversight in the country’s crypto market. The agency has urged domestic trading platforms to share internal data with the system to ensure compliance with new legislation that takes effect on Jul. 19.

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