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Mt Gox CEO Mark Karpeles Found Not Guilty of Embezzlement

March 15, 2019 |

Mt Gox CEO Mark Karpeles Found Not Guilty of Embezzlement

Mark Karpeles, CEO of the now-defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, has been sentenced by the Tokyo District Court. The court convicted him of record tampering but found him not guilty of embezzlement. He received a suspended jail sentence of two and a half years.

Also read: SEC Chair Explains Key Upgrades Needed for Bitcoin ETF Approval

Court Sentences Karpeles

The CEO of the now-defunct Mt. Gox exchange, Mark Karpeles, received a suspended jail sentence of two and a half years Friday after the Tokyo District Court found him guilty on charges of data manipulation, according to local media. Noting that the court suspended the sentence for four years, AFP-Jiji Press wrote:

The court convicted Mark Karpeles, a 33-year-old Frenchman, for falsifying computer data but acquitted him over charges of embezzling millions from client accounts.

Mt Gox CEO Mark Karpeles Found Not Guilty of Embezzlement

Tokyo-based tech reporter for Bloomberg, Yuji Nakamura, translated the verdict in a series of tweets. “We’re calling it that he’s not actually going to prison,” he wrote. “In plain English: he’s guilty of record tampering, but not guilty of embezzlement. He is ‘suspended’ for 4 years, during which time if he does anything bad he’ll be jailed for 2.5 years.”

The 2014 collapse of Karpeles’ Mt. Gox exchange involved the loss of approximately 850,000 bitcoins, 200,000 of which were later found, although victims have yet to see any restitution. Despite the court-appointed bankruptcy trustee selling the recovered coins in preparation for disbursement, the recovery process has been put on hold due to a pending $ 16 billion lawsuit by a former business partner.

Court Found a Total Mess

According to the verdict which Nakamura translated, the Tokyo District Court found that the way Karpeles “ran Mt. Gox was a total mess and that he tampered w/ records to hide the fact it was missing a lot of bitcoin, but he did not do it for personal gain or have ill intent.” The court document also details:

We find the charge of electronic record tampering to be true and that it deserves punishment, but there’s no criminal evidence re embezzlement (dominant or reserve type) or violations of company laws, resulting in a not guilty ruling.

Mt Gox CEO Mark Karpeles Found Not Guilty of Embezzlement

The court acknowledged that “the creation and use of tampered records involved a monetary amount that was extremely large, resulting in severe damage to the trust of the users,” Nakamura described. “There is no excuse for the defendant, who is an engineer with expert knowledge, to abuse his status and authority to perform clever criminal acts. We cannot look lightly upon the criminal responsibility of the defendant,” his translation reads.

Karpeles’ Promise

After the news of the verdict broke, Karpeles has made only one tweet at the time of this writing. It was in response to Twitter user Emilien Dutang, founder of blockchainpartner.fr, reminding him of his earlier promise. On Feb. 11, Karpeles wrote:

I hereby pledge any net proceeds I receive from Mtgox back to Mtgox creditors. Not that I will [be] receiving anything anyway.

Dutang reminded him Friday, “I hope you’ll keep your words,” to which the former Mt. Gox CEO replied, “Will do.”

What do you think of Karpeles’ sentence? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Channel News Asia, and Fortune.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Mt Gox CEO Mark Karpeles Found Not Guilty of Embezzlement appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Former Mt. Gox CEO Could Face 10 Years in Jail Over Embezzlement

December 12, 2018 |

Former Mt. Gox CEO Faces 10 Years in Jail Over Embezzlement in Japan

Japanese prosecutors are seeking a 10-year jail term for Mark Karpeles, the former CEO of Mt. Gox. The embattled Frenchman, who has been previously accused of diverting company money for prostitutes, business acquisitions and luxury items, is facing charges of transferring $ 3 million of client funds to his own account for investment in a software development business.

Also read: Netherlands to Regulate Cryptocurrencies in Bid to Curb Money Laundering

Karpeles Pleads Innocence But Authorities Aren’t Buying It

According to prosecutors, Mark Karpeles falsified Mt. Gox’s trading system to make customer balances appear healthier than they in fact were. He also acted in violation of the country’s corporate law, Japanese daily The Mainichi reported on Dec. 12.

Former Mt. Gox CEO Could Face 10 Years in Jail Over Embezzlement

Karpeles has sworn his innocence and says the money, moved in the last four months of 2013, was meant to serve as only a temporary loan. He also argued, earlier in the trial, that the funds in question did not belong to clients but were his now-defunct company’s revenue.

However, prosecutors have argued there is no evidence that this diversion of funds was merely as a temporary loan. “There was no documentation of loans and there was no intention of paying back,” reads their submission at the Tokyo District Court. Karpeles, prosecutors argue, must be slapped with a harsh sentence for betraying the confidence of investors who trusted him with their money.

The Great Bitcoin Heist

Mt. Gox went from handling 70 percent of global bitcoin trades in 2013 to bankruptcy in 2014 after about $ 400 million was supposedly lost to hackers, with 200,000 bitcoins recovered two weeks later. The current lawsuit is not investigating the cause of this theft.

As the effects of the discrepancy became apparent, the exchange initially delayed withdrawals for up to three months before completely ceasing them altogether, ostensibly over the theft of bitcoins. The company entered bankruptcy proceedings in 2014 but has since undergone civil rehabilitation processes to enable it to pay bitcoin still owed to investors. It has yet to be determined how much users will be repaid, given the numerous fluctuations in bitcoin’s trading price since 2014.

Former Mt. Gox CEO Could Face 10 Years in Jail Over Embezzlement
Mark Karpeles

“I never imagined things would end this way and I am forever sorry for everything that’s taken place and all the effect it had on everyone involved,” Karpeles said earlier during the bankruptcy saga, although he has consistently maintained his innocence. In November, a Mt. Gox trustee sought to defer the deadline for filing civil rehabilitation claims, initially slated for October, until this month.

Regardless of how the matter plays out in Japan, Karpeles faces more legal trouble in the U.S. where former Mt. Gox clients filed a lawsuit against him several months ago. Karpeles’ lawyers want the lawsuit dismissed on the basis that a U.S. court has no jurisdiction over the matter.

What are your thoughts on the Mt. Gox case? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

 

The post Former Mt. Gox CEO Could Face 10 Years in Jail Over Embezzlement appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Lingerie purchases lead to ex-Apple employee’s prison term in $243G embezzlement case

June 2, 2018 |

A former Apple employee’s penchant for Victoria’s Secret merchandise led to her arrest and conviction in a $ 243,000 embezzlement scheme, according to reports.
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