Mark Karpelès, the former CEO of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox, has shared his perspective on the recent plea by former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried for release from prison due to poor internet access. Karpelès, who faced his own legal battles in the past, expressed little sympathy for Bankman-Fried’s situation.
In a September 13 post on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), Karpelès reflected on his own experiences during his time in custody back in 2015. He was arrested on two separate occasions on charges related to the alleged misappropriation of nearly $3 million in Mt. Gox customer funds.
During his incarceration, Karpelès had limited access to technology and computing resources. He humorously mentioned that the most computing power he had at his disposal was a simple calculator capable of basic arithmetic operations. Despite the challenging circumstances, he was eventually cleared of all embezzlement and breach of trust charges.
Former Mt. Gox CEO prison experience
Karpelès recounted how he had to use supplies from the prison store to create an index of evidence sent by his legal counsel. He initially contemplated using an abacus, an ancient counting tool, for calculations but was informed by a prison guard that he could use a calculator for accounting purposes. He purchased the best calculator available for approximately $120, which allowed him to perform various mathematical operations, including square roots and tax calculations.
After more than four years of legal battles, the former Mt. Gox CEO attributed his successful defense to the “little calculator” and the diligent work of his legal team. Karpelès’ comments came in response to the recent request by Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, to be released from prison. Bankman-Fried’s lawyers argued that his poor internet access while in custody was hampering his ability to prepare adequately for his upcoming trial.
However, District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan denied Bankman-Fried’s request for temporary release on September 12, ruling that insufficient internet access was not a valid reason for the release. Bankman-Fried currently faces 12 criminal charges, with two separate trials scheduled for October 2, 2023, and March 11, 2024. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts.
As Bankman-Fried continues to navigate his legal challenges, his case serves as a reminder of the legal complexities surrounding the cryptocurrency industry and the importance of a fair and thorough legal process for all involved parties.