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Faruk Fatih Ozer, the founder of Thodex, a defunct crypto exchange based in Turkey, was sentenced to 11,196 years in prison by a court in Istanbul.
The decision came in response to the abrupt collapse of in 2021, which affected a vast number of its users and raised concerns over the stability and security of cryptocurrency exchanges in the region.
Ozer's Role in Thodex' Collapse
Founded in 2017 by Faruk Fatih Ozer, Thodex rapidly grew in prominence within the Turkish crypto landscape. However, when the platform ceased operations, leading Ozer to leave Turkey for Albania.
The Istanbul court, in its recent verdict, found Ozer and his two siblings guilty of a series of crimes, which included aggravated fraud, leading a criminal organization, and money laundering. During the , Ozer was quoted by the state-run Anadolu Agency:
“I am smart enough to lead any institution on Earth. That is evident in this company I established at the age of 22. I wouldn’t have acted so amateurishly if this were a criminal organization.”
Damage and Extradition
The exact magnitude of losses following Thodex's cessation remains a subject of ongoing analysis. The prosecutor's initial documents indicate losses to investors totaling 356 million liras (around $13 million). However, several Turkish media reports suggest much larger figures, some even reaching up to $2 billion. Additionally, an independent study by estimates the total cryptocurrency lost at Thodex to be worth $2.6 billion.
Following Thodex's operational halt and the subsequent fallout, Ozer's relocation to Albania initiated a lengthy extradition process. After extensive legal proceedings, he was brought back to Turkey earlier this year, leading up to the recent court ruling.
The sentencing of Ozer and his siblings reflects the broader concerns and challenges faced by regulators and stakeholders in the rapidly evolving cryptocurrency market, especially in the context of ensuring user security and trust.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.