Turkish crypto kingpin Faruk Fatih Ozer starts 11,000 year jail term

In this post:

  • Ozer founded Thodex, which was once one of Turkey’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • This was reportedly one of the longest sentences a Turk judge has handed.
  • Ozer was sentenced together with his siblings for fraud, money laundering, and organized crime.

Founder and former CEO of Thodex cryptocurrency exchange, Faruk Fatih Ozer this week starts an 11,196-year prison sentence for defrauding investors millions of dollars. Ozer used Thodex which was once one of Turkey’s biggest crypto exchange to defraud investors of their funds.

Also read: The cost of crypto crimes has risen to $19bn in the past 13 years 

Ozer reportedly used the exchange to steal from investors with the help of his family members. He was sentenced together with his two siblings, his brother and his sister who were slapped with the same jail term over similar charges.

Faruk Fatih Ozer unites with family in jail

They were slapped with a combined 43,000 years for financial crimes. As for Faruk, he fled to Albania in 2021 with investor assets after his Thodex exchange collapsed. He was arrested last year in Albania on an international warrant from Interpol and extradited to Turkey, after a lengthy legal process and charged with money laundering, organized crime, and fraud.

But the crypto boss said he would “not have acted so amateurishly” if he had criminal intentions.

According to Protos, Ozer is now starting his term for the next 11,196 years, 10 months, and 15 days which expires in the year 13,221.

At one point Ozer fled the country with a hardware wallet holding assets worth $2 billion, according to Turkish media. The financial whizz swindled investors leveraging the growing popularity of his Thodex, which he founded in 2017, growing to be one of the country’s largest exchanges for virtual currencies.

Turkey turns to lengthy terms

Ozer and family’s sentences are one of the longest to be handed by Istanbul courts. According to BBC, such extraordinary terms became common after the country abolished the death penalty in 2004.

Other prominent cases involved a television cult preacher Adnan Oktar who was in 2022 jailed for 8,658 years for offenses such as fraud and sex crimes. At least 10 of his followers were reportedly slapped with the same sentence.

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

The Turkey courts also used the Ozer case as a clear message to other potential offenders at a time when cryptocurrencies continue to gain traction in the country.

Turks adopted use of cryptocurrencies as a hedge against the volatility of their currency – the lira, which began over two years ago.

Cryptopolitan reporting by Enacy Mapakame

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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