Mark Karpeles, the former CEO of the notorious Mt.Gox, has suffered a new blow after Japanese high court threw out his petition and upheld the conviction on charges of manipulating electronic data.
Another Japanese court cleared Karpeles last year of embezzlement and breach of trust charges, but was found guilty of the dubious data charges. In both cases, however, the court handed him a suspended sentence, meaning he wouldn’t have to serve jail time.
While the French citizen claimed that he was just trying to reduce risks for the exchange’s users, Tokyo’s court said Karpeles had manipulated data to harm his clients, betraying their trust and abusing his engineering skills.
Japanese prosecutors had initially demanded 10 years in prison as they said Karpeles was guilty of mixing his personal finances with Mt.Gox’s assets in order to conceal the exchange’s losses to hackers. The court handed him down a two and a half years jail sentence, but he doesn’t not have to serve this term unless he commits another offence within four years.
Mt. Gox ex-CEO asks US to toss fraud lawsuit
Karpeles also tried to shut down the class action lawsuit against him in the US which was filed by the last remaining plaintiff, Gregory Greene.
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Karpeles argued the court to dismiss the last remaining fraud charge on the grounds that the ex-Mt. Gox customer has changed the factual basis underlying his claims. Greene voluntarily dismissed two other claims over Karpeles’ handling of the exchange and leaving major security holes that led to future hack attempts.
Gregory Greene filed a complaint on behalf of bitcoin users in a US district court in Philadelphia, accusing Mt. Gox and its CEO Mark Karpeles of negligence and fraud for not protecting the exchange from theft.
Greene, who claimed his own bitcoin holdings were about $25,000, said Mt. Gox failed to provide its users with the level of security protection for which they paid.
However, Karpeles claimed the court lacks jurisdiction and filed a motion asking the judge to dismiss the lawsuit.
Mt. Gox went offline in 2014 in the single biggest setback in the history of Bitcoin after 850,000 bitcoins were stolen in a hacking attack. Under suspicious circumstances, the Japanese exchange claimed it had lost track of about 750,000 bitcoins belonging to customers and another 100,000 of its own, but later said it had found 200,000 bitcoins.
Mt. Gox is now undergoing bankruptcy rehabilitation in Japan, overseen by court-appointed trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi.