A 22-year-old South Korean man has received a suspended jail term of nearly three years after being found guilty of armed robbery. The man, whose identity remains undisclosed, accumulated debts totaling over $37,000 due to failed cryptocurrency investments. The incident took place at a convenience store in the Dong-gu region of Gwangju on June 11, where the man entered the premises armed with a weapon and proceeded to threaten an employee. He ultimately stole cash amounting to over $425, as well as Google Play gift cards and other items.
The Gwangju District Court sentenced the man, described as a college student, to two and a half years in prison, along with three years of probation and 200 hours of community service. However, Judge Koh Sang-young decided to suspend the jail sentence, citing the man’s desperation and even contemplation of suicide. The defendant was considered a first-time offender.
The court acknowledged that the man made extreme choices due to the significant debt he had accumulated, emphasizing that the crime was not of a trivial nature and caused profound fear for the life of the store clerk. The judge took into account the commitment of the man’s family to actively participate in his rehabilitation, leading to the decision to suspend the jail term.
South Korea has previously witnessed a series of tragic incidents related to cryptocurrency investments, including suicides by investors who experienced significant financial losses. In a particularly shocking case, a married couple and their 10-year-old child died after driving their car into the sea. The investigation revealed that the couple had acquired considerable cryptocurrency-related debt, with records showing numerous Bitcoin purchases prior to their deaths off the coast of Wando, South Jeolla Province, in southwest South Korea.