A screen grab made from CCTV released by Demiroren News Agency on 22 April 2021 showing Thodex founder Faruk Fatih Ozer at Istanbul international airport. (Photo by Handout / DHA (Demiroren News Agency) / AFP)
The Founder of Thodex and His Brothers Sentenced to 11,196 Years in Jail
- The founder of Thodex and his brothers have each been sentenced to 11,196 years in jail by a Turkish court.
- Prosecutors had hoped to send them to jail for more than 40,000 years.
- Faruk Fatih Ozer grabbed R570 million worth of crypto when he fled the country in 2021.
A disgraced Turkish crypto founder who fled to Albania and his two brothers have been sentenced to 11,196 years in jail each, the Anadolu state news agency reported Friday.
Prosecutors had asked for Thodex boss Faruk Fatih Ozer, 29, to be sentenced to 40,562 years in prison for money laundering, fraud and establishing a criminal organisation.
“If I were to establish a criminal organisation, I would not have acted so amateurishly,” Anadolu quoted Ozer as telling the court.
His two brothers, Serap and Guven, received the same sentence, which was issued late Thursday after a brief trial, Turkish media reports said.
Turkey is known for issuing massive prison sentences, which became more common after it abolished the death penalty in 2004 to help its efforts to join the European Union.
Prosecutors said Ozer had transferred about R570 million worth of crypto assets to three secret accounts when he fled Turkey in April 2021, with much of the money ending up in a Malta bank.
The case grabbed local headlines because it coincided with a Turkish crypto boom that has since largely subsided due to heavier government regulation.
Turks began turning to various crypto currencies as a defence against a deep slide in the value of the lira that began more than two years ago.
Ozer gained further celebrity status after being pictured meeting with ultranationalist pro-government figures.
He was arrested last year in Albania on an international arrest warrant from Interpol.