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  • Writer's pictureJamal Saafir

Failed Crypto Exchange CEO Gets 11K Years In Jail


According to Decrypt, Faruk Fatih Özer, the founder and CEO of the collapsed Turkish crypto exchange Thodex, was sentenced to 11,196 years in prison on Thursday, as reported by local media sources.


He was convicted of aggravated fraud, leading a criminal organization, and money laundering.

Faruk Fatih Özer, the founder and CEO of collapsed Turkish crypto exchange Thodex

“I am smart enough to lead any institution on Earth,” Özer told the court, as reported by Fortune. “That is evident in this company I established at the age of 22. I wouldn’t have acted so amateurishly if this were a criminal organization.”


Özer’s two siblings, who assisted him with running the exchange, were handed similar jail sentences.



The eventual trial saw 21 defendants facing up to 40,564 years in prison. 16 of the 21 defendants were exonerated and four of the seven persons jailed were released due to a lack of sufficient evidence.


Other defendants in the matter were handed differing jail sentences for different crimes.

Founded in 2017, Thodex was the largest cryptocurrency exchange in Turkey prior to its fall.


400,000 users were left unable to access their crypto deposits, which totaled close to $2 billion.


The exchange’s closure was first ascribed by Özer to a pause to an unspecified external investment which called for a four to five-day trading hiatus.


A day later, Özer changed the narrative, claiming that cyberattacks had impelled the halt to trading. In spite of this, he declared that customer funds remained secure and promised to reimburse investors.

After the platform’s demise, Faruk Fatih Özer disappeared, fleeing to Albania. He was eventually located in Vlorë, a major coastal city in Albania, in August 2022.


The failure of Thodex was particularly devastating in Turkey, as its collapse coincided with the devaluation of the Turkish lira and runaway inflation in the

country.



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