The US Justice Department (DoJ) is delving into the mysterious collapse of TerraClassicUSD (USTC) stablecoin, which wreaked havoc on the Terra ecosystem, resulting in a staggering $40 billion wipeout last May.
According to reports, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York grilled former Terraform Labs employees in recent weeks, seeking answers to the perplexing saga.
The investigation closely follows the SEC’s filing of a lawsuit on Feb. 16 against Terraform Labs and its founder, Do Kwon.
Authorities are reportedly questioning the connection between Chai, a payment platform based in South Korea, and the Terra blockchain on which USTC operated.
The SEC’s lawsuit against Kwon alleged that he misled investors by falsely indicating that Chai transactions were executed on the Terra blockchain.
The SEC also accused Kwon of providing investors with inaccurate information about the risks associated with the algorithmic-based stablecoin, designed to maintain a peg of 1:1 to the US dollar.
However, it remains unclear what specific charges the Justice Department may pursue, and it does not necessarily mean that charges will be filed.
Founder Do Kwon denies any wrongdoing and remains at large
Terraform Labs’ enigmatic founder, Do Kwon, has been on the move since the collapse, reported jet-setting from South Korea to Singapore, Dubai, and now Serbia, where he has been keeping a low profile.
Kwon has been on the run since last year, following an arrest warrant by South Korean authorities for violating capital markets law. Although he recently appeared on Twitter, denying any wrongdoing, South Korean officials are skeptical and have revoked his passport and issued an Interpol red notice for his arrest. Kwon’s whereabouts remain a mystery, and Serbian officials have refused to comment.
In a bizarre twist, New York prosecutors are said to be investigating former members at Jump Trading, Jane Street, and Alameda Research over chat-group discussions surrounding the TerraUSD stablecoin project. According to Bloomberg’s sources, the investigation focuses on whether market manipulation tactics were involved.
As the Terra ecosystem picks up the pieces and tries to move on from the disastrous event, the Justice Department’s investigation offers hope for answers to the long-standing questions surrounding the USTC collapse.