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US judge green lights Terraform's $4.5bn SEC settlement

US judge green lights Terraform's $4.5bn SEC settlement

Terraform Labs and its former CEO Do Kwon have reached a $4.5 billion settlement with the SEC after a jury verdict held them liable for orchestrating a years-long fraud involving crypto asset securities that led to massive investor losses when the scheme unravelled.

A US District Court judge has signed off the settlement two months after a jury found Terraform and Kwon civilly liable for fraud after the $40 billion collapse of the company and its ecosystem.

The collapse happened after, in May 2022, the TerraUSD stablecoin was de-pegged from the US dollar, prompting it and Terraform’s other tokens to plummet to close to zero in value, leading to "devastating losses to countless investors," says the SEC.

Terra's implosion also set off a series of devastating events for the crypto industry, causing the failure of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital which, in turn, hit Genesis Global Capital and FTX.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler says: “Terraform and Do Kwon’s fraudulent activities caused devastating losses for investors, in some cases wiping out entire life savings. Their fraud serves as a reminder that, when firms fail to comply with the law, investors get hurt."

The judgement, to which Terraform and Kwon consented, includes $4.05 billion of disgorgement plus interest, and a $420 million civil fine for the company. Kwon faces an $80 million civil penalty and $124 million in disgorgement and interest.

However, because Terraform filed for bankruptcy in January, most of the money is unlikely to be paid. it will be treated as an unsecured claim in the Chapter 11 case, where Terraform is liquidating, according to Reuters.

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