Delio, a South Korea-based Bitcoin lender, is reportedly planning to launch an administrative lawsuit against local financial regulators, citing poor and incorrect interpretation of the law.
This new lawsuit comes after an investigation and fine imposed on the Bitcoin lending firm by the South Korean watchdog.
Delio to Sue South Korean Watchdogs
Earlier this month, The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of South Korea recommended the dismissal of Delio CEO Jeong Sang-ho through a sanctions announcement. Moreover, the watchdogs imposed a 3-month business suspension and a fine of 1.896 billion Won.
These sanctions were based on Delio’s alleged failure to assess money laundering risks before offering new products and services as required by the Specific Financial Information Act. According to the FIU, Delio failed to adhere to the requirements for about 41 products.
Delio is preparing an administrative lawsuit in response to the FIU’s actions. Per the report, the allegations of embezzlement and fraud leveled against the firm by the Financial Service Committee have no basis. Delio notes that the regulator applied the law unfairly when there were no explicit rules regarding virtual asset deposit and management products.
CEO Jeong Sang-ho strongly criticizes the FIU’s sanctions as unreasonable legal interpretation and unfair application, warning of potential harm to the domestic virtual asset industry.
The lender believes the watchdog is applying pressure on it to shut down rather than an opportunity to correct its practices.
Earlier in the year, the FSC lodged a comprehensive investigation of Delio, leading to a halt of deposits and withdrawals of major virtual assets such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Ripple (XRP) on June 14th. The investigation cited issues of breach of trust, fraud, and embezzlement associated with the network, with the report suggesting that complaints from victims triggered the investigation.
Legal Experts Criticize Watchdogs
Legal experts and KOL in South Korea have identified ambiguities on whether virtual asset-related deposit management products can be classified as financial products. The CEO of DK L Partners, Kwon Dan, said:
“Virtual asset deposits, staking, and lending are difficult to consider as financial investment products according to the definition of the Capital Markets Act because there is no possibility of principal loss.”
Another expert, Oh-hoon Kwon, partner at Cha & Kwon, also believes the deposit of virtual assets should not be grouped as a financial investment product.
Furthermore, the FIU’s accusation that Delio violated its obligation to prohibit transactions with undeclared virtual asset business operators is also being scrutinized.
South Korea has been accelerating its crypto regulation recently, especially after last year’s Do Kwon saga. In August, the country pioneered an interagency investigation team.