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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Mark Karpeles, the chief executive of the now defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, has been denied a motion to stay in a class action lawsuit in the U.S. The Northern District of Illinois lawsuit originally filed by Anthony Motto and Gregory Greene accuses Karpeles of criminal conversion and fraud.
Mark Karpeles Faces Legal Proceedings in the State of Illinois
The former executive of Mt. Gox Mark Karpeles is facing a very busy month as he is expecting to hear the verdict from his embezzlement trial in Japan on March 15. The verdict is not Karpeles’ only legal issue, however, as he’s also being sued for negligence, fraud, and criminal conversion in the state of Illinois. The class allegations against Karpeles involve two former Mt. Gox customers, Gregory Greene and Anthony Motto, who believe the former exchange operator is liable for their losses. The plaintiffs’ lawsuit says the bank that Mt. Gox used, Mizuho Bank, Ltd., continued to accept deposits even though customers were having withdrawal issues. Motto and Greene’s attorneys believe Karpeles continued to allow deposits and conduct business within the state of Illinois through the exchange’s parent company Tibanne.
Last August, Karpeles and his lawyer filed for a motion to dismiss the case in Illinois and explained that Illinois had no jurisdiction over him because he was a French native living in Tokyo. After the dismissal was denied by Judge Gary Feinerman, Karpeles’ legal team then filed for a motion to stay in order to suspend the case until the proceedings in Japan had finished. The filed motion of stay asserts that “likelihood that plaintiffs and others will obtain a full recovery in Mt. Gox’s Japanese legal proceedings is high.”
The motion of stay added:
In light of the status of the Japanese proceedings, this case should be stayed in order to conserve judicial resources and to preclude unnecessary legal expenses.
Motion of Stay Denied — Class Allegations Hearing Continues May 1st
Karpeles believes that the Japanese proceedings should take precedence against the class allegations based in Illinois. Following the motion of stay, judge Feinerman ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and denied Karpeles’ filing. Now the former exchange operator must deal with the hearing on May 1, but will meet his March 15 verdict first. Furthermore, the Mt. Gox trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi will also be making a decision shortly in regard to the claims filed for civil rehabilitation.
In the legal proceedings Karpeles faces in Illinois, the defense counsel detailed that the claim that Karpeles knew exactly what Mizuho Bank was doing was unwarranted. Further, the defense said the idea that Karpeles conducted business in the state of Illinois is an incorrect assumption. “The alleged wrongful conduct took place in Japan, not in Illinois,” the defense noted. Karpeles’ upcoming verdict in Japan is in a country with a 99 percent conviction rate, but even if he is not convicted, his legal troubles are far from over.
What do you think about Mark Karpeles being sued in Illinois and the class allegations against him? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Mizuho Bank logo, and Mt. Gox.
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The post Mark Karpeles Still Faces Class Allegations in the U.S. After Japan Verdict appeared first on Bitcoin News.