According to a local media outlet of Turkey, Faruk Fatih Ozer, the founder of the Thodex cryptocurrency exchange, his sister Serap Ozer and his brother Guven Ozer, have been sentenced to 11,196 years, 10 months, and 15 days in prison.
Thodex was one of Turkey’s leading crypto exchanges, but in April 2021, it went off the internet, and the exchange’s founder went missing. According to some media reports, over 400,000 users were affected by the theft and could not process their transactions.
Ozer left his residence and fled to Albania, but later, in August 2022, he was arrested after Interpol issued a red notice against him. A Turkish media outlet highlights that the honorable court has imposed a fine of 135 Million liras on all three suspects.
After 8 months of legal procedures, Ozer was extradited to Turkey and detained by police upon his arrival. The police officials charged him with seven charges, including the management and establishment of institutions with the motive to commit fraud, among other charges.
When this mass issue went viral, the brother, sister of Ozer, and four other senior executives of the company were sent behind bars. More than 83 others were detained in the entire investigation process.
On September 7, 2023, the Anatolian 9th Heavy Penal Court announced the verdict, acquitting 16 of the 21 defendants and releasing 4 of them due to lack of evidence. Other defendants were given varying degrees of imprisonment based on the nature of their crime.
Did Thodex and Coinzo Follow a Similar Pattern to Exit the Market?
It is believed that Thodex, Coinzo, and a few other crypto exchanges in Turkey halted their services following the Turkish central bank’s decision to ban cryptocurrency usage. The central bank banned the usage of crypto and digital assets in April 2021.
Numerous market analysts believe the decision to ban crypto in Turkey adversely affected the entire cryptocurrency sector.
In a statement of 2021, Chainalysis, a blockchain forensic firm, stated- “We should note that roughly 90% of the total value lost to rug pulls in 2021 can be attributed to one fraudulent centralized exchange, whose CEO disappeared soon after the exchange halted users’ ability to withdraw funds.” They also noted that the loss is estimated at over $2.6 Billion.
The views and opinions stated by the author or anyone named in this article are for informational ideas only and do not establish financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading crypto or stock comes with a risk of financial loss.