Turkish Crypto Exchange Thodex CEO Receives 11,000-Year Sentence for $2B Scam: Report
The former CEO of Turkish crypto exchange Thodex, Faruk Fatih Özer, has been sentenced to 11,196 years in prison by a Turkish court. The charges include “establishing, managing and being a member of an organization,” “qualified fraud,” and “laundering of property values.” Özer’s two siblings were also given the same jail sentence and a $5 million fine.
The Collapse of Thodex
Thodex was once one of the largest digital asset trading platforms in Turkey. However, in 2021, the exchange suddenly halted its services without any prior notice. Its founder, Özer, fled the country, taking with him $2 billion worth of users’ assets in crypto. Despite the accusations, Özer denied any involvement in an exit scam.
In August 2022, the fugitive founder was arrested in Albania where he was already serving a jail sentence for other offenses. He was subsequently extradited to Turkey in April 2023 to face charges of fraud and money laundering. Prior to his recent conviction, Özer was already in jail for failing to submit tax documents.
During the court proceedings, Özer claimed that he and his family were facing injustice. He argued that Thodex was simply a bankrupt crypto company and that he had no criminal intentions. In his court statement, Özer said, “If I were to establish a criminal organization, I would not act so amateurishly.”
Despite his defense, Özer was ultimately found guilty and received a lengthy prison sentence. The case involved a total of 21 defendants, with only five attending the court hearing in person. Of the 21 defendants, 16 were acquitted due to a lack of evidence, and four were released. The remaining defendants were given varying degrees of sentences based on their involvement in the fraud.
In the world of cryptocurrency, scams and fraudulent activities have unfortunately become a common occurrence. This case involving Thodex and its CEO serves as a reminder of the importance of caution and due diligence in the crypto industry. Investors and users must be vigilant and informed when dealing with crypto exchanges to ensure the safety of their assets.
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