U.S. Lawyer on Karpeles: “He Would be Arrested”

After the judge presiding over the bankruptcy of MtGox ordered CEO Mark Karpeles to present himself in order for the

After the judge presiding over the bankruptcy of MtGox ordered CEO Mark Karpeles to present himself in order for the filing to proceed, a U.S. lawyer suggested he could be arrested if he enters U.S. soil.

Speaking at the Inside Bitcoins event in New York, Roger Townsend said, “I assume he would be arrested or a person of interest” and that the FBI would likely want to question Karpeles both about allegations of fraud at MtGox as well as potential connections with Silk Road.

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He even speculated that the FBI is preparing a grand jury indictment against him and drew parallels to Charlie Shrem, who was also arrested and whom he referred to as Karpeles’ friend.

Townsend and another lawyer, Edgar Sargent, were explaining the ongoing legal fallout arising from the MtGox debacle. Both lawyers also represent a Seattle-based company, Coinlab, which sued MtGox last year for $75 million after a failed deal to supply bitcoins to the North American market- a case by now well overshadowed by MtGox’s failure.

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His remarks would explain why Karpeles remains set on not re-entering the U.S. and his lawyers have been pushing for his bankruptcy filing to proceed in his absence. They had requested that Karpeles be designated as a “foreign representative” of MtGox and that input take the form of a deposition from abroad.

Plaintiffs in a separate case, the actual lawsuit against MtGox, also want Karpeles present to provide insight into what exactly happened to the over 750,000 bitcoins and millions in fiat under his care.

Gigaom also reports that a person approached by other Bitcoin stakeholders in February to help save MtGox, details of which appear to have been outlined in a leaked document, said the Karpeles is an “imbecile” who found it easy to cover up earlier accounting irregularities but would continue to do so until he was in over his head.

With his plight bearing (very slight) resemblance with that of Edward Snowden, one wonders what kind of response he would get if his cause was taken up on bitcoinwallet.com.

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