Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, has been denied temporary release from prison after his legal team complained about his ability to prep for trial and his laptop’s alleged lack of internet access. On Tuesday, the former CEO of Mt Gox, Mark Karpeles, shared his experience after he was arrested in 2015 on charges of embezzlement and breach of trust. Karpeles stressed that the “most computing power” he got was a “simple calculator” in addition to 20,000 pages of evidence and 5,000 pages of accounting records.
‘The Calculation I Did at the Time Helped Me to Earn Release’ — Mark Karpeles Recounts the Embezzlement Case Against Him
Mark Karpeles, the former CEO of Mt Gox, one of the most recognizable bitcoin exchange breaches in history, has compared his trial experience to Bankman-Fried’s on the social media platform Twitter. Karpeles’ comments follow U.S. District Court judge Lewis Kaplan’s decision Tuesday to keep Bankman-Fried in prison.
Prior to the judge’s decision, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers said he hasn’t been getting adequate access to the internet in jail to prepare for his upcoming trial next month. The U.S. government insisted Bankman-Fried’s accessibility to a laptop and the internet was sufficient.
Karpeles explained Tuesday that he wasn’t afforded such luxuries during his time in jail when he was arrested and detained in Japan on charges of breach of trust and embezzlement.
“When I was arrested back in 2015, the most computing power I got was a simple calculator (+-*/√),” Karpeles stated. “Had 20,000 pages of evidence including over 5,000 pages of accounting. [The] calculation I did at the time helped me to earn release under bail and eventually be cleared of all embezzlement [and] breach of trust charges.”
I spent a total of 11 months and 15 days in pre-trial detention, and didn’t have access to any of the evidence until about 7 to 8 months in. The jail’s store had some label stickers and folders I used to create an index of all the evidence I was sent by my lawyer, and I created a quick 8 pages index listing all the documents found in there by an ID I created at the time including the number of pages, who made the document, and which folder it was in.
Over the following months, Karpeles said he delved deep into the accounting data presented by the prosecution. To his surprise, there were significant profits that had been overlooked. Karpeles said he sifted through the company’s bank statements — included in the evidence — and discovered $5.5 million in revenue that had gone unaccounted for.
“Suddenly, the argument raised by the prosecution didn’t make sense,” Karpeles wrote. “The company made more than what was spent, and using this as a base my lawyer pushed the prosecution to straighten up their act.”
Armed with this information, his attorney pressured the prosecution to reassess their stance. Seeking additional time to solidify their case, the judge saw it fit to grant Karpeles bail. The former Mt Gox CEO concluded:
After being freed on July 14, 2016, I was finally able to get online after almost a year. A lot had changed, SSL certificates were now available for free and it was a new world, but Bitcoin’s block size battle was still raging on.
What do you think about the former Mt Gox CEO’s memories compared to Bankman-Fried’s situation? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.