Tuesday, March 28

Crypto Fraudster Faces 40,000 Years in Jail | Digital Trends Spanish

After a year on the run, an exchange founder cryptocurrencies He has just been caught by the authorities. He is facing so much time in jail that it barely makes sense.

For fleeing with $2 billion, Faruk Fatih Özer could face a sentence of up to 40,564 years. No, that’s not some kind of weird typo, we really mean over 40,000 years.

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Faruk Fatih Özer was the founder of Thodex, a Turkish cryptocurrency exchange that was originally founded in 2017 and amassed around 700,000 users at its peak.

Cryptocurrency exchanges are quite popular in Turkey, even among those who would not normally engage in cryptocurrency trading. This is because Turkey’s native currency, the Turkish lira, has been in constant decline in recent years. To protect their funds, many people in Turkey turn to cryptocurrency exchanges and are looking for something more stable to invest in. Unfortunately, in the case of Thodex, this turned out to be a terrible choice.

In April 2021, Thodex abruptly halted all trading, claiming that an outside investment forced it to pause trading for up to five days. Özer then claimed that the company had to stop trading altogether, citing cyberattacks as the cause. Despite the promise that customer funds would remain safe, for around 400,000 users, that simply wasn’t the case. Users lost access to their accounts and subsequently their funds.

Turkish police detained many of Thodex’s employees at the time, but Özer had already managed to flee to Albania, allegedly withholding $2 billion taken from funds belonging to the company’s investors and clients. The Turkish authorities made Özer the subject of a interpol red noticebut despite a worldwide search, he was not located until more than a year later.

Özer was found in the Albanian city of Vlorë. His identity was confirmed using biometric results. He is awaiting extradition to Turkey, where he will face a hefty sentence of 40,000 years for his crimes along with other Thodex executives.

No announcement has been made about what happened to the money after the Thodex founder fled the country with it. Decrypt reports that Thodex transferred $125 million worth of Bitcoin to an exchange in the United States in what appeared to be a “withdrawal operation.” On the other hand, as early as 2021, a lawyer representing Thodex investors declared that the money had become unrecoverable.

Whether or not the funds are recovered, it is clear that the local authorities mean business and will pursue thousands of years in jail for these crimes.

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