Sun, 05 Feb 2023

SINGAPORE, Dec. 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Singapore-based global digital financial company BTHMB Holdings has won a civil suit filed in June 2019 against its former managing director, Dr. Kim Byung-Gun for USD17 Million.

Dr. Kim, a prominent Singaporean plastic surgeon who is a founder and director of BK Hospital and BK Medical Group in Singapore, is also a blockchain investor who operates the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) platform by issuing ICC coins in Singapore in late 2018.   

This year, the Singapore court has ruled for Dr. Kim to pay to BTHMB, a Singapore company, USD17,166,912.76 as sale proceeds of BTHMB-issued BXA Coin.

BTHMB is a global digital financial company based in Singapore.  In 2018, it was widely reported that Dr. Kim had agreed to acquire, through various corporate transaction documents and corporate vehicles, a majority shareholding in Bithumb Korea Co Ltd which owns the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in Korea, the Bithumb Exchange.

As part of the acquisition, BTHMB was to raise equity and sell BTHMB-issued BXA Coins.  Dr. Kim was also separately required to transfer the full sale proceeds of the BXA Coin in his possession to BTHMB, but failed to do so despite repeated requests by BTHMB.

Ownership of BXA Coins

In a judgment published in August 2022 concerning BTHMB's claim for the BXA Coin sale proceeds held by Dr Kim, the Singapore High Court rejected Dr. Kim's defences for failing to account for and transfer the BXA Coin sale proceeds to BTHMB. Amongst others, the Judge found that under the contractual and company documents, Dr Kim did not own the BXA Coins that were sold and consequently the sale proceeds held by him.  The BXA Coins had also not been gifted to Dr Kim for free.    

As regards Dr Kim's allegations of being a victim of fraud perpetrated by one Mr JH Lee, the former chairman of Bithumb Korea Co Ltd's parent company (Bithumb Holdings Ltd), the Judge not only found the allegations to be unpleaded but also "irrelevant" to the issues between BTHMB and Dr Kim. 

Dr. Kim's obligation to make payment of the sale proceeds to BTHMB

As BTHMB owned the BXA Coins and sale proceeds, Dr. Kim was obliged to make payment of the BXA Coin sale proceeds to BTHMB and the Judge agreed with BTHMB's contention that Dr Kim had breached his duties as a director, agent and trustee.

Dr. Kim's payments of the sale proceeds to BTHMB

Dr. Kim had also alleged that he had made payment of the sale proceeds of the BXA Coins to BTHMB, pointing to 12 transactions totalling US$58,141,908.69.  Apart from two transactions totaling some US$240,000, his defence was found to be "inherently inconsistent" and "improbable".

The Judge found that Dr. Kim had failed to prove that any of the remaining 10 transactions were payments of BXA Coin sale proceeds: "he did not tell BTHMB at any point that the [10 transactions] were payments of BXA Coin sale proceeds, BTHMB did not regard them as such, and on the evidence, they were not in the nature of payments of BXA Coin sale proceeds".

In conclusion, Dr. Kim was ordered to pay BTHMB the BXA Coin sale proceeds and account for what has become of them.  The principal sum due and owing by Dr Kim to BTHMB after the set off of certain counterclaim amounts is about US$16.8m.

As the successful party in this suit, BTHMB is also entitled to costs of the litigation from Dr. Kim.

About BTHMB HOLDINGS Pte. Ltd./Blockchain Exchange Alliance (BXA)

BTHMB HOLDINGS is a global digital financial company based in Singapore. BXA is an alliance of global crypto exchanges providing fiat currency transactions. For more information on BTHMB, please send an email to info@bthmb.com.

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