South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is under a “special tax investigation” by the country’s National Tax Service (NTS), according to local reports.
On Jan. 10, tax agents reportedly raided the exchange’s headquarters in the country’s capital city, Seoul, as a part of a compliance investigation. Authorities are exploring the possibility of tax evasion by examining the domestic and international transactions of Bithumb Korea, Bithumb Holdings and its affiliates.
The agents are also exploring possible tax evasion related to the ownership of Bithumb.
The investigation was carried out by the 4th Bureau of Investigation of the Seoul Regional Tax Service, which specifically investigates “special tax investigations,” as opposed to standard ones.
Bithumb was previously under a special tax investigation in 2018 by the NTS, through which it won roughly $64 million in income tax.
This development comes after former Bitchumb chair Lee Jung-Hoon was acquitted on Jan. 3 of $70 million in fraud charges.
On Dec. 30, just prior to the acquittal, Park Mo — an executive at the largest shareholder of Bithumb — was found dead. He was under investigation by local authorities for embezzlement and stock price manipulation.
The executive’s death was the latest in a slew of crypto billionaires who died within a month of each other, including MakerDAO co-founder Nikolai Mushegian and Amber Group co-founder Tiantian Kullander, among others. Some in the community have pointed to the fact that they occurred around the same time a the fall of FTX.
Regulators around the world have been keeping a close watch on the crypto industry in light of the turmoil, which has since plagued the space.