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Daily fraud update: 6th March

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South Korea approves crypto trading bill

A new law has been passed in South Korea which looks set to approve and regulate the trading of cryptocurrencies – a move which could help combat fraud there.

The new law was passed by the National Assembly in an amendment to the pre-existing Act on Reporting and Use of Specific Financial Information.

It was later signed into law by the country’s president.

However, the crypto press reported that it may take around a year for the law to come into force – and that it will be followed by a grace period of a further half-year.

It is now expected that South Korean crypto trading will become regulated.

There is currently a thriving crypto scene in South Korea, but regulation could well change that.

In recent years, the problem of crypto scams has risen in the country.

Part of the purpose of the legal change is to combat money laundering.

As a result, many different actors in the crypto ecosystem – including wallet firms and exchanges – will now have to have their names verified with Korean banking institutions.

They will also need to get certification in a discipline called information security management system (ISMS).

Accused crypto fraudster submits “not guilty” plea

A former investor of an American football team who stands accused of deception and unlicensed crypto trading has said he will plead “not guilty” on a new charge.

Reginald Fowler, who owned a firm called Crypto Capital and allegedly delivered various “shadow banking” services to crypto exchanges, has been presented with details of a new charge of wire fraud.

This happened in February and came after he had already been presented with charges of illegal money transfer, bank fraud and conspiracy.

The new charge was added by a mechanism called a “superseding indictment”.

However, his legal advisers now claim that he will plead not guilty to this.

It is understood that he was previously told he could sign a plea deal.

In the middle of January, it was suggested that he was about to accept this on one count.

However, by the end of January, he had chosen to decline the offer, and the US government – which is the prosecutor in the case – took it off the table.

His lawyer, James McGovern, was quoted as saying that he was unaware of “what [Fowler has] been charged with”.

“I’ve never really seen a superseding indictment when it provides less information than the one before”, he said.

Crypto Capital has been controversial for a long time, and it has been accused of providing “shadow bank” services to major exchanges such as Bitfinex.

In October of last year, a fellow Crypto Capital executive – Ivan Lee – was taken into custody in Poland.

He was accused of being associated with $350m which was allegedly linked to money laundering for a Colombian drugs group.