Mt Gox head convicted of manipulating data, cleared of theft

17 Mars, 2019, 05:27 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • MtGox chief found guilty of inflating cash balance

The former head of Mt.Gox, the cryptocurrency exchange that was subject to one of the most high-profile hacks in the industry, has been found guilty of tampering financial records by the Tokyo District Court. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and owner of this now-morbid company, Mark Karpeles, who had been accused of fabricating electronic data and fraud has been discharged of allegations of legal misconduct. "[T] here is no excuse for the defendant, who is an engineer with expert knowledge, to abuse his status and authority to perform clever criminal acts".

Karpeles had pleaded not guilty to all charges, while prosecutors had called for a 10-year prison term.

Karpeles' extraordinary acquittal on the embezzlement charges means he will spend no additional time in jail as long as he avoids criminal activity/arrest for the next four years.

Karpeles' trial was not connected to the mysterious disappearance, and instead, the charges he was convicted of focused on how he tampered with financial records.

"Mr. Karpelès, wearing a dark suit, bowed to the judge as he entered the courtroom."
He was motionless after the verdict was read out.

After all the litigation, a verdict was finally handed down to the now 33-year-old Karpeles. Alternatively, Karpeles could simply buy back the missing BTC and cover the shortfall if/when the BTC price rose.

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It then announced that it had gone bankrupt after having lost about 850,000 bitcoins, worth about 48 billion yen at the time, claiming they were likely stolen through hacking.

The vanishing left a trail of annoyed savers, rocked the virtual currency community, and injured sureness in the safety of dealing with bitcoin.

According to local media, he was found not guilty of embezzlement but guilty of manipulation of computer data at the MtGox exchange, which at one point claimed to be handling around 80 percent of all global bitcoin transactions.

His trial began in June 2018 after Karpeles was released on bail in 2017. Since that time, roughly 200,000 bitcoins have been found. "The only solution I have is to actually find the real culprits", he told reporters his trial hearing in July 2017.

The odds were stacked against Karpeles as the vast majority of cases that come to trial in Japan end in a conviction.

He said in an interview with French business daily Les Echos on Wednesday that he had little chance of acquittal. However, he has mainly evaded commenting on his case in detail. There was, however, no sturdy proof of the severe accusations made against Karpeles.

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