Founder of Thodex Cryptocurrency Exchange Sentenced to 11,196 Years in Prison
Faruk Fatih Özer, the founder of Thodex digital currency exchange, has been sentenced to 11,196 years in prison for defrauding investors of millions. Thodex, once Turkey’s leading worldwide cryptocurrency exchange, abruptly closed in 2021, leaving users unable to access over $2 Billion in cryptocurrency.
Özer’s Attempt to Flee and Extradition
Özer aimed to flee to Albania but was arrested in August 2022 following an Interpol red warning. In April 2023, he was extradited to Turkey and taken into custody, facing charges including organizing and managing a criminal group and fraudulent use of information systems related to banks and credit institutions.
Verdict and Acquittals
The Anatolian 9th Heavy Penal Court delivered its verdict on September 7th, acquitting 16 of the 21 defendants. Four incarcerated individuals were released due to a lack of evidence. The remaining defendants received varying prison sentences for their roles in the Thodex collapse-related crimes.
In his defense, Özer asserted, “If I were to establish a criminal organization, I would not have acted so amateurishly. I possess the intelligence to lead any institution universally, as evidenced by the company I established at the age of 22.”
Consequences and Closure
Although while Özer and his family received severe penalties, most former Thodex employees were either acquitted or released due to insufficient evidence. At one point, all 21 defendants faced probable sentences of up to 40,000 years in prison. These verdicts offer some closure to Thodex users who lost access to their digital currency holdings.
The sentencing of Faruk Fatih Özer and his siblings for defrauding investors of millions through the Thodex cryptocurrency exchange sends a clear message that fraudulent activities in the digital currency space won’t be be tolerated. This high-profile case outlines the need for strict regulations and enforcement to protect investors and maintain trust in the cryptocurrency industry. Although while the acquittals and releases of some defendants due to lack of evidence may raise concerns, the overall outcome provides a degree of justice for the influenced Thodex users. Moving forward, it is critical for authorities and investors to remain vigilant and take proactive measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.
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