Bitcoin’s Biggest Blackhole, Mt. Gox, Sees CEO Mark Karpeles Exonerated By Japanese Prosecutors
There are reports coming in that verify that Mark Karpeles, the former CEO of crypto exchange Mt. Gox has been exonerated by Japanese prosecutors.
Alright, we're calling it that he's not actually going to prison.
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.https://t.co/7Rn3BHQGJ2
— Yuji Nakamura (@ynakamura56) March 15, 2019
Story So Far
Mt. Gox was an extremely popular crypto exchange accounting for over 70% of Bitcoin transaction in 2011 when it fell victim to a major cyber attack and went bankrupt. Mt. Gox's bankruptcy proceedings will repay creditors in Japanese Yen at a price around 400 US dollars per bitcoin and it has been reported that this will leave Karpelès, after creditors are repaid, with the bulk of the wealth left over from the difference. Based on the market price at the beginning of 2018 (around $15000 per bitcoin), the difference is significant and would leave Karpelès with bitcoins valued at nearly 2 billion US dollars.
Karpeles was first arrested on Aug. 1, 2015, by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, who believed he must be the bitcoin thief and would crack under interrogation. He did not. They arrested him two more times. He was indicted on three charges. The conviction rate for the indicted in Japan is 99 percent. Last December, prosecutors asked for him to be punished with 10 years in jail. It has already been over five years since his company and his life collapsed.
On March 15th, a panel of judges found him innocent of the major charges of embezzlement and breach of trust; they found him guilty of improper management of electronic funds–but gave him a suspended sentence of four years. This means that if he doesn’t break the law anymore, he will not go to jail.
Notably, one of the presiding judges pointed out that none of the charges against Karpeles had anything to do with the missing bitcoins and that Karpeles had never intended to harm the company or embezzle funds. The only crime he was guilty of came from installing a program in the system that tried to recoup the missing bitcoins the firm had been saddled with from the time he took it over in March of 2011.