- Thodex CEO Receives 11,000-Year Jail Sentence for $2B Crypto Exchange Collapse
- Formerly Turkey’s largest crypto exchange, Thodex’s 2021 collapse left 400,000 users unable to access their cryptocurrency deposits.
Faruk Fatih Özer, the founder of the now-defunct Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Thodex, has been handed an astounding prison sentence of 11,196 years, 10 months, and 15 days, alongside his sister Serap Özer and brother Güven Özer. Additionally, a judicial fine of 135 million Turkish liras, approximately $5 million, has been imposed.
According to the Anatolian 9th High Criminal Court, Özer and his two siblings have been sentenced to the same lengthy prison term, with the added financial penalty of $5 million. This information has been reported by the Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu Agency.
Thodex was once a prominent digital asset trading platform in Turkey before its abrupt collapse in 2021.
The exchange ceased operations without warning, and its founder, Özer, fled the country, taking with him users’ assets amounting to $2 billion in cryptocurrency. At the time, Özer vehemently denied any allegations of an exit scam.
Following the verdict, Faruk Fatih Özer, seemingly unrepentant, displayed a cold and callous attitude. He was quoted as saying, “I am capable of leading any institution on Earth, as evidenced by the company I established at the age of 22. I wouldn’t have acted so unprofessionally if this were a criminal organization.“
Özer’s two siblings, who were involved in running the exchange, received similar prison sentences. Additionally, a court-imposed fine of approximately 135 million Turkish Liras (approximately $5 million) was imposed on them.
In the end, the trial involved 21 defendants facing potential prison terms of up to 40,564 years. Out of the 21 defendants, 16 were acquitted, and four of the seven individuals who were initially incarcerated were released due to insufficient evidence.
The founder of the Thodex exchange, Faruk Fatih Özer, had previously faced a similar charge. In July, he received a seven-month and 15-day prison sentence from a Turkish court.
This sentence was a consequence of Özer’s non-compliance with the request to submit necessary documents during the trial, which had been ongoing since mid-2021.
Thodex, once a major cryptocurrency exchange in Turkey, suddenly ceased operations in April 2021. Coincidentally, Faruk Özer vanished, leaving more than 400,000 users in a state of uncertainty. Özer successfully fled to Albania but was apprehended by authorities in August 2022, prompted by an Interpol red notice.