The CEO of collapsed Turkish crypto exchange Thodex has been sentenced to 11,196 years, 10 months, and 15 days in prison. He purportedly absconded with more than $2 billion in cryptocurrency belonging to more than 400,000 customers. The court found his crypto trading platform to be a criminal organization.
Thodex Chief Sentenced to 11,196 Years in Prison
The CEO of collapsed Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Thodex, Faruk Fatih Özer, was reportedly sentenced to 11,196 years, 10 months and 15 days in prison on Thursday. AFP reported that prosecutors had requested a prison sentence of 40,562 years for the 29-year-old crypto exchange boss.
Özer was found guilty of various charges including fraud, leading a criminal organization, and money laundering. The court also found Thodex to be a criminal organization and that Özer acted with fraudulent intent from the beginning. In addition, Özer’s sister Serap and brother Guven were found guilty of the same charges.
The Thodex CEO refuted the finding that his intentions were criminal. He told the court he would “not have acted so amateurishly” if that was the case, according to state-run news outlet Anadolu Agency. The publication quoted him as saying:
I am smart enough to lead any institution on Earth … That is evident in this company I established at the age of 22.
Thodex, founded in 2017, was one of the largest crypto exchanges in Turkey before it abruptly collapsed in April 2021. The platform went offline and Özer disappeared, leaving over 400,000 customers unable to access their cryptocurrency holdings reportedly worth a total of $2 billion.
Özer was arrested in Albania in August last year following an Interpol-issued red notice. After a lengthy legal process, he was extradited back to Turkey in June and found guilty of money laundering, fraud, and organized crime.
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