The chief executive of a collapsed crypto exchange has reportedly been handed a staggering prison sentence of over 11,000 years.
According to a new report by Euronews, Faruk Özer, the CEO of Istanbul-based crypto exchange Thodex, has been given 11,196 years in jail for stealing $2 billion worth of crypto assets from customers.
Thodex suddenly went offline in April 2021, leaving 400,000 customers without access to their funds, while Özer fled Turkey. He was caught in Albania in 2022 after Interpol issued a red notice for him.
Interpol’s red notice alleged that Özer had intent to scam his customers from the start and that Thodex was a criminal organization, according to the report.
Özer was found guilty of money laundering, fraud, and leading a criminal organization and was sentenced earlier this week. Two of his siblings were also given jail time, though no specifics were given.
Previously, it was found that Özer used the popular meme asset Dogecoin (DOGE) to entice traders into using Thodex by selling it for a quarter of its market price at the time. However, traders were unable to withdraw or transfer their DOGE after purchasing it.
At the time, Thodex issued a statement disputing the claims that hundreds of thousands of customers were missing $2 billion worth of funds.
“The allegations that [Thodex] lost about 391,000 people with a loss of about $2 billion, which was reflected to the public on April 22, 2021, are unfounded.
According to our preliminary findings, only about 30,000 of our nearly 700,000 users have a suspicious situation…”
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