Faruk Fatih Ozer, Founder of Thodex, Sentenced to 11,196 Years in Prison for Fraud
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Faruk Fatih Ozer, the founder of Thodex, a Turkish-based crypto exchange, has been sentenced to 11,196 years in prison by a Turkish court. Ozer and his two siblings were found guilty of serious fraud, operating a criminal organization, and money laundering.
The Istanbul court delivered its verdict on Thursday evening, declaring Ozer and his siblings guilty of the crimes mentioned above. The court sentenced them to similar prison terms.
- Ozer appeared unrepentant during the final hearing.
- He told the court, “I am smart enough to run any organization on Earth. It shows that I started working at this company when I was 22 years old. I wouldn’t act so amateurishly if it were a criminal organization.”
Losses Suffered by Investors
The total amount of losses suffered by investors in Thodex’s collapse remains unclear. The prosecutor’s indictment estimated the amount at 356 million liras ($13 million), while Turkish media quoted the figure as being as high as $2 billion. A study by Chainalysis estimates the value of crypto assets lost at Thodex at $2.6 billion.
Ozer’s Escape and Arrest
Ozer fled to Albania after Thodex went bankrupt in April 2021. The Turkish Interior Ministry labeled this as an exit scam. He was arrested in Albania in August 2022 and extradited to Turkey in April of this year after a lengthy legal procedure.
Impact on the Crypto Community in Turkey
The aftermath of Thodex has severely affected the crypto community in Turkey. The collapse of Thodex has increased scrutiny on crypto companies and exchanges in the country. Despite facing high inflation and the devaluation of the Turkish lira, cryptocurrencies have failed to bring respite to the community due to the Thodex collapse.