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Montenegrin Prime Minister Was an Early Investor in Terraform Labs

Ruholamin Haqshanas
Last updated: | 2 min read
Montenegrin Prime Minister Was an Early Investor in Terraform Labs

Montenegrin Prime Minister Milojko Spajic was an early investor in the failed crypto project Terraform Labs.

New findings from an April court document show that Spajic invested $75,000 in Terraform Labs in April 2018, purchasing 750,000 Terra (LUNA) tokens.

According to the court document filed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Spajic’s investment came just days before Terraform Labs was officially registered in Singapore on April 23, 2018.

Spajic Declined Investment in Terraform

Prior to the disclosure of these court documents, the Montenegrin prime minister had denied personal involvement in the failed crypto project, claiming that it was the Singaporean company Das Capital SG, for which he worked from 2017 to 2020, that had invested in Terraform Labs.

However, the SEC documents contradict this, listing Spajic as an investor and revealing a contract dated April 17, 2018, establishing his early involvement with the company.

Terraform Labs was responsible for the creation of the infamous LUNA and TerraUSD (UST) crypto tokens, which at one point reached a market cap of $2 billion before collapsing in May 2022.

The collapse of Terra not only caused a significant loss in the crypto ecosystem, wiping out nearly $40 billion from the market, but also led to the downfall of several crypto hedge funds that had provided collateral to the firm.

In April 2024, a jury found Terraform Labs and co-founder Do Kwon guilty of defrauding investors in a civil case brought by the SEC.

Kwon had been on the run for several months before being apprehended by international law enforcement agencies in March 2023.

Judge Signs Off on $4.5B Terraform, Do Kwon Settlement with SEC

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff of the Southern District of New York (SDNY) approved a settlement that will require Terraform Labs and Kwon to pay a staggering $4.5 billion in disgorgement and civil penalties.

Additionally, they will be permanently banned from engaging in any transactions involving “crypto asset securities,” which includes tokens within the Terra ecosystem.

The settlement comes after initial proposals from the SEC suggested a $5.3 billion penalty, which Terraform Labs contested by advocating for a maximum fine of $1 million.

Ultimately, on June 6, the legal representatives for both Kwon and Terraform Labs agreed to the SEC’s revised settlement offer of $4.5 billion.

It is important to note that Kwon, who is currently in custody in Montenegro awaiting a decision on his extradition, did not attend the trial where the settlement was reached.

Terraform Labs, currently operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, faces the challenge of how to fulfill the substantial financial obligations imposed by the settlement.

According to the trial testimony of the company’s current CEO, Chris Amani, Terraform Labs has approximately $150 million in assets.

However, it remains uncertain how the company will manage to pay the substantial fines imposed by the settlement.