CEO of Defunct Mt. Gox Crypto Exchange Goes to Court Again for Data Manipulation Charges
Mark Karpeles, CEO of the now-defunct seminal bitcoin exchange, Mt.Gox is looking to appeal his conviction on data manipulation charges leveled against him earlier this month by a Tokyo District Court, according to reports published on March 29, 2019.
Karpeles Not Giving Up
As earlier reported by Bitcoin Exchange Guide, former CEO of one of the earliest bitcoin trading platforms that was forced to shut down operations in 2011 due to a massive 850,000 bitcoin heist, Mark Karpeles, was recently acquitted of all charges of embezzlement but given a suspended sentence for manipulating critical financial records on the exchange.
Reportedly, the Tokyo District Court found Karpeles, the self-acclaimed computer geek, guilty of combining his personal crypto holdings with customers’ funds in a bid to conceal the hack.
Against that backdrop, the prosecutors slapped Karpeles with a two and a half years suspended jail term, which could be triggered only if he commits another offence within four years.
Interestingly, the prosecutors had earlier nursed plans of appealing against the acquittal of Karpeles on embezzlement charges, but they finally decided not to go ahead with their plans, according to a Mainichi report published March 29.
Karpeles Says Judge Passed the Wrong Judgement
Per sources close to the matter, Karpeles claims that the presiding judge did not make efforts to pay proper attention to the defense argument before finding him guilty of manipulating financial records.
In the same vein, Karpeles’ lawyer, Nobuyasu Ogata has reportedly argued that his client is not guilty as charged since he was only trying to salvage the ugly situation and reduce the losses of users’ of the hacked exchange.
In an email to Associated Press (AP), Karpeles explained that he firmly believes it is important to appeal the judgment so that a new resolution can be passed in “full consideration of all the facts.”
Earlier in August 2018, Mt. Gox announced it was preparing to refund investors around $1 billion in bitcoin and instructed all creditors to file their claims. In October 2018, the process came to an official end, and the trustee of the exchange started processing the claims.
On March 19, 2019, Mt.Gox trustee, Nobuaki Kobayashi announced he had concluded processing the rehabilitation claims of creditors of the exchange. He also hinted that he plans to publish the results shortly.
“On March 15, 2019, the Rehabilitation Trustee approved or disapproved rehabilitation claims regarding MTGOX Bitcoin exchange users’ rights to make claims against MTGOX for return of cryptocurrency and/or cash and submitted it to the Tokyo District Court for a statement of approval or disapproval,” stated Kobayashi at the time.
The total number of Mt.Gox users that lost their bitcoins during the 2011 heist reportedly stands at 24,000, and if everything goes as planned, they’ll all be paid in bitcoin shortly.