Former Mt Gox CEO Claims Innocence as He Might Face Jail Time

The court is scheduled to announce its verdict on March 15.

Mark Karpeles, the former head of Japan-based Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, has restated his innocence before the Tokyo court where his trial is going, according to the local media NHK.

Too Big, But Failed

In 2014, Mt Gox, one of the earliest and biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, collapsed after the theft of nearly half-a-million dollars worth of cryptocurrency from the exchange. At that time, Mt Gox single-handedly handled 70 percent of the world’s Bitcoin transactions.

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As per the court’s indictment, Karpeles is not accused of the theft of the coins. But he is charged for manipulating the exchange’s data and pocketing 340 million yen (around $3.1 million) from customers’ accounts between September and December 2013.

He was arrested in 2015 and granted bail on the condition that he cannot leave the country until the trial is over.

In the trial against him, which started last year, he denied all charges. The court is scheduled to announce its verdict on March 15, 2019.

The Tokyo prosecutors are demanding a 10-year jail term for the Frenchman.

During the closing arguments of the trail on Thursday, Karpeles apologized for the sudden disappearance of digital coins from the firm’s vaults and also for the decisions that drove the firm towards bankruptcy but denied all the charges on him including embezzlement.

More and more Controversies

Earlier this year, a Mississippi father-son duo sued the doomed exchange for 9,500 BTC worth millions, which they lost almost seven years ago.

In November, reports revealed that the trustee of the exchange wanted to extend the period for submitting their rehabilitation claims to the victims after the initial deadline has already passed.

Earlier in March, the trustee sold nearly $400 million worth of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash to generate proceeds to pay back creditors.

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