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Founder of defunct Turkish crypto exchange Thodex sentenced to over 11,000 years in prison

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  • Faruk Fatih Özer, the founder of the now-defunct Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Thodex, along with his sister Serap Özer and brother Güven Özer, has been sentenced to a staggering 11,196 years, 10 months, and 15 days in prison, as reported by local media.
  • Thodex abruptly ceased operations in April 2021, leaving over 400,000 users bewildered and unable to access their deposits, which amounted to a staggering $2 billion in various cryptocurrencies.

Faruk Fatih Özer, the founder of the now-defunct Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Thodex, along with his sister Serap Özer and brother Güven Özer, has been sentenced to a staggering 11,196 years, 10 months, and 15 days in prison, as reported by local media. In addition to the prison sentences, the court imposed a judicial fine of 135 million Turkish liras, equivalent to approximately $5 million.

Thodex had once been among Turkey’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges until it abruptly ceased operations in April 2021, leaving over 400,000 users bewildered and unable to access their deposits, which amounted to a staggering $2 billion in various cryptocurrencies. Faruk Fatih Özer had mysteriously disappeared at the same time, triggering a massive investigation into the exchange’s activities.

As investigations unfolded, it was revealed that Özer had fled to Albania, but his international escape was short-lived. In August 2022, he was arrested in Albania following an Interpol red notice issued against him. Subsequently, by April 2023, Özer was successfully extradited to Turkey, where he was taken into custody by law enforcement.

The charges against Faruk Fatih Özer were severe and multifaceted, including accusations of establishing and managing an organization with the intent to commit crimes, being a member of a criminal organization, fraud through the use of information systems connected to banks or credit institutions, fraud involving merchants, company executives, and cooperative managers, as well as money laundering related to proceeds from criminal activities.

Thodex crypto exchange scandal ends with massive sentences

The legal ramifications of the Thodex case were extensive, leading to the detention of Özer’s brother, sister, and four other high-ranking employees. Furthermore, at least 83 individuals were detained as part of the comprehensive investigation into the cryptocurrency exchange’s collapse. When the trial began, a total of 21 defendants faced the possibility of severe sentences, potentially amounting to a cumulative 40,564 years in prison.

However, as the trial concluded, the Anatolian 9th Heavy Penal Court rendered its verdict. Surprisingly, 16 of the 21 defendants were acquitted of the charges against them. Furthermore, four of the seven individuals who had been in custody due to their alleged involvement were released as a result of insufficient evidence. Nonetheless, the remaining defendants received varying prison sentences corresponding to the gravity of their offenses.

The Thodex debacle sent shockwaves throughout Turkey, where cryptocurrencies had gained popularity as a means of safeguarding assets against rampant inflation and the sharp devaluation of the Turkish lira. This high-profile case underscored the regulatory challenges and potential risks associated with the cryptocurrency industry, prompting authorities to tighten oversight and regulation of digital assets in the country.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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