A Turkish prosecutor wants to slap the founders and executives of the Thodex cryptocurrency exchange with what could be the harshest prison sentence of all time.
Bloomberg reported Friday, citing Demiroren News Agency, that the charges against Istanbul-based Thodex crypto exchange seeks sentences of up to 40,564 years for each of the 21 accused.
According to local media sources, the defendants are among those allegedly implicated in the $108 million Thodex scams.
Faruk Fatih Ozer, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Thodex, is the primary suspect in the investigation and has been labeled a wanted man by local authorities and the Interpol.
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Crypto CEO At Large With $2 Billion
Thodex declared in April that its platform had been “temporarily suspended” because of an “abnormal fluctuation in the company accounts,” while Ozer traveled to Albania with more than $2 billion in investor monies.
At the time, around 62 people were arrested and jailed as part of the investigation process.
The Demiroren News Agency published a photo purportedly of Ozer exiting Istanbul Airport.
That same month, users of Thodex stated that they were unable to withdraw hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrencies, with the 28-year-old Ozer nowhere to be found and refusing to speak with anyone.
At the time of the initial criminal complaint, the crypto exchange – which processes millions of dollars in daily transactions – had more than 400,000 users, 390,000 of whom were active.
The Hunt For The Missing Thodex Boss
Following the release of CCTV of Ozer at the Istanbul airport in April last year, Turkish authorities flew to four countries, including Albania, in an unsuccessful attempt to locate the top executive.
Despite the fact that the key suspect has yet to be apprehended, prosecutors are proceeding with the charges. They include employing information systems fraudulently, establishing a criminal organization, and utilizing bank or credit information systems as a tool.
Ozer, if apprehended, could face a 40,564-year prison sentence upon conviction.
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Nightmare Experience With Crypto
Certain Turkish citizens have turned to cryptocurrency in order to preserve their investments from rising inflation and the Turkish currency’s depreciation.
According to Bloomberg, Thodex provided millions of free dogecoins to new registrants last month. Other reports disclosed that the exchange released 4 million of the meme-inspired crypto tokens, but many users claim they have not received them.
Based on Chainalysis’ February study, Thodex was responsible for about 90% of the entire value lost via rug pulls worldwide in 2021.
For The Record
Meanwhile, Terry Nichols received the world’s longest officially confirmed sentence in 1995.
Nichols was found guilty of 161 charges of first-degree murder, arson, and terrorism, as well as eight counts of involuntary manslaughter.
According to Wikipedia, he was sentenced to 161 life sentences plus 9,300 years of parole.
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Featured image from Duvar English, chart from TradingView.com