If you are an old-timer in the Bitcoin market, you have probably already heard of Mt Gox at least once. The Japanese crypto exchange was the largest company of its kind in the world until it was hacked and it went bankrupt. Mt Gox collapsed early in 2014 after it lost 800,000 BTC, valued at almost half a billion at the time.
Mt Gox’s story is actually one of the saddest and messier cases of Bitcoin history. The exchange was hacked, lost most of its assets and then was unable to pay the investors. After the investigations started, it was found out that its CEO, Mark Karpeles, was also involved in many shady schemes, too, and the situation only got worse. Until today, most of the investors did not get their money back and the CEO is now being judged.
Now, Karpeles has affirmed in court that he is innocent from all charges as the trial is near its end. He is being accused of embezzlement because he took around $3 million USD from the client’s money for his own investments and manipulated data from the company, according to the accusations.
During the trial, he apologized deeply that he was unable to protect the assets of the clients but affirmed that was not guilty from the charges, only of not doing a better job for the exchange not to be hacked.
Karpeles was indicted for embezzlement in 2017 and was arrested. However, he was released on bail soon after with the condition that he would not leave Japan until the trial was over.
The former CEO of Mt Gox is not being accused of anything related to the hacking. He is being accused of stealing money from the company from September to December 2013, shortly before it was hacked. At the time, he took $340 million USD from the clients’ money to invest in a software development business.
Another accusation is the manipulation of data to inflate the trading volume of Mt Gox, which was the top exchange of the market at the time. The defense affirms that all that he did was part of the company’s business.
For these crimes, he is facing up to 10 years in prison. The court is expected to finally finish the case in March 2019.