The $2 Billion Heist: Inside the Thodex Crypto ExchangeScandal – Coinpedia Fintech News

The $2 Billion Heist: Inside the Thodex Crypto ExchangeScandal – Coinpedia Fintech News

September 9, 2023

Faruk Fatih Özer, the founder of the Thodex cryptocurrency exchange, has been sentenced to 11,196 years in prison for defrauding investors of millions. Thodex, which was once Turkey’s leading global crypto exchange, abruptly closed its doors in 2021, leaving users unable to access over $2 billion in cryptocurrency.

Although Faruk Fatih Özer received an 11,196-year prison sentence, the initial demand from prosecutors was for a staggering 40,562-year jail term on his charges. Özer’s two siblings were also handed 11,000-year sentences for their involvement in the case.

Özer’s attempt to flee to Albania was short-lived, as he was arrested in August 2022 following an Interpol red alert. In April 2023, Özer was extradited to Turkey and taken into custody by authorities, facing multiple charges, including organizing and managing a criminal group and fraudulent use of information systems related to banks and credit institutions.

The Anatolian 9th Heavy Penal Court delivered its verdict on September 7th, acquitting 16 of the 21 defendants. Four out of seven incarcerated individuals were released due to a lack of evidence. The remaining defendants received varying prison sentences for their roles in the Thodex collapse-related crimes.

In his defense, Özer asserted, “If I were to establish a criminal organization, I would not have acted so amateurishly. I possess the intelligence to lead any institution globally, as evidenced by the company I founded at the age of 22.”

While Özer and his family faced severe penalties, most former Thodex employees were either acquitted or released due to insufficient evidence. At one point, all 21 defendants were at risk of receiving sentences of up to 40,000 years in prison. These verdicts provide some closure for Thodex users who had lost access to their cryptocurrency holdings.

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