The U.S. Justice Department is probing last year’s collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin, raising the possibility of criminal charges being filed against the stablecoin’s creator, Do Kwon, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter.
The FBI and the Southern District of New York have interviewed former employees of Terraform Labs, the company behind TerraUSD, and sought to interview others, according to the Journal.
The SEC filed a civil fraud lawsuit in February against Kwon and Terraform Labs in Manhattan federal court, accusing them of misleading investors about TerraUSD’s risks. The Justice Department’s investigation covers similar ground, according to the Journal’s sources.
Manhattan federal prosecutors are also examining chat-group discussions among prominent trading firms Jump Trading Group, Jane Street Group and failed FTX affiliate Alameda Research involving a potential bailout of TerraUSD, according to a separate report from Bloomberg, citing a person familiar with the matter.
Such a bailout never took place, but the investigation is seeking to determine whether the firms were involved in possible market manipulation. TerraUSD and its sister token, Luna, both eventually collapsed, setting off a series of high-profile failures of prominent crypto firms, including hedge fund Three Arrows capital, Voyager Digital and FTX.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.