Founder of Collapsed Crypto Exchange Thodex Sentenced to 11,196 Years in Prison
A Turkish court has sentenced Faruk Fatih Ozer, the founder of one of Turkey’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Thodex, as well as his brother and sister, to 11,196 years, 10 months, and 15 days of imprisonment. They were found guilty of fraud involving information systems, leading a criminal organization, and money laundering, as reported by Bloomberg. The prosecution had sought up to 40,462 years of imprisonment for Ozer but the court imposed a lighter sentence.
The verdict was delivered by a court in Istanbul on Thursday evening. A total of 21 defendants were involved in the case, according to Turkey’s Anadolu Agency. Sixteen of them were acquitted of fraud charges due to lack of evidence, four were released, and the remaining individuals were sentenced to various prison terms on different charges. In addition to imprisonment, the court imposed a total fine of 26.6 billion Turkish lira (approximately $991.3 million), including 8.9 billion Turkish lira (around $330.4 million) on the defendants personally.
Faruk Fatih Ozer founded the Thodex cryptocurrency exchange in 2017. In 2021, the exchange abruptly halted its operations. According to reports from local media, Ozer, along with his brother and sister, fled to Albania, taking $2 million of investors’ funds with them. In 2022, he was arrested in Albania on an Interpol warrant and extradited to Turkey in June 2023. The prosecution estimated the damage caused by the scammers at $13 million, although according to the blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis, the actual damage is much higher, at approximately $2.6 billion.
- I'm Vasyl Kolomiiets, a seasoned tech journalist regularly contributing to global publications. Having a profound background in information technologies, I seamlessly blended my technical expertise with my passion for writing, venturing into technology journalism. I've covered a wide range of topics including cutting-edge developments and their impacts on society, contributing to leading tech platforms.
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