The former CEO of Turkish crypto exchange Thodex, Faruk Fatih Ozer, has been sentenced to 11,196 years in prison for money laundering, fraud and establishing a criminal organisation.
His two brothers Serap and Guven, was also sentence to 11,196 years, 10 months and 15 days in prison along with a $5 million fine.
Prosecutors had asked for the 29-year-old Thodex boss to be sentenced to 40,562 years in prison. Adding that Ozer had transferred 250 million liras in user assets (worth about $30 million at the time) to three secret accounts when he fled Turkey in April 2021, with much of the money ending up in a Malta bank.
The indictment said the Ozer brothers had caused 356 million liras of damage to clients in all.
“If I were to establish a criminal organisation, I would not have acted so amateurishly,” Anadolu quoted Ozer as telling the court.
“The Turkish crypto exchange was one of the largest digital asset trading platforms in the country before it abruptly imploded in 2021. The exchange halted services on the platform without prior notice, and the founder, Ozer, fled the country along with users’ assets totaling $2 billion in crypto. At the time, Ozer had refuted all claims of a possible exit scam.”
The Turkish crypto boss said him and his family are facing injustice, noting that Thodex went bankrupt that he had no criminal intentions.
A Google-translated version of Ozer’s court statement read: “I am smart enough to manage all institutions in the world. This is evident from the company I founded at the age of 22. If I were to establish a criminal organization, I would not act so amateurishly. What is in question is it is clear that the suspects in the file have been victims for more than 2 years.”