Mt. Gox CEO Faces Criminal Trial this Week
Next week, the famous CEO of Mt Gox Mark Karpeles will go on trial for bitcoins lost in exchange in 2014. 850,000 BTC was removed from Mt Gox trading platform, and later Karpeles allegedly found 200,000 BTC kept in cold storage. Karpeles will face the Japanese court’s decisions concerning the rest of the $1.6 billion missing BTC.
In October 2015, Mark Karpeles was arrested for allegedly exploiting the Mt Gox record books, and Tokyo prosecutors accused the CEO of embezzling funds. According to regional reports at the time, Tokyo Police initially arrested Karpeles for moving USD $1 Million in yen to his bank account. In addition, many Japanese publications known as Yomiuri and Jiji detailed that Karpeles lived an elegant lifestyle and had requested “several women whom he met at venues that offer sexual services.”
A year later in July 2016, Karpeles was released by issuing a $95,000 worth of yen. Karpeles has been a free man ever since but has been mandated to stay in Japan. Now, this Tuesday, July 11 Karpeles will face the Japanese prosecutor’s allegations that he embezzled some of the missing bitcoins. According to his lawyer, Kiichi Iino, Karpeles plans to plead not guilty to the charges against him. “He is keeping calm as the trial gets underway,” Karpeles lawyer explained to the Associated Press.
Prosecutors will investigate Karpeles assets and lifestyle before and after Mt Gox bankruptcy. If any manipulation is found, Japanese laws may not be as easy for Karpeles, as the country has a 99 percent conviction rate.
The trial comes at a time when the blockchain surveillance company Chainalysis explained to a group of US senators who know the“destination” of the missing 650,000 BTC. “Chainalysis was the official investigator in the Mt. Gox bankruptcy case, and the destination of those coins is definitely known,” Chainalysis co-founder Jonathan Levin said this past June.
In addition, Karpeles will have guests at his trial as the creators of Mtgoxprotest.com, a website and a group of dedicated demonstrators who have been following the scandal since the insolvency began. On June 25 Kolin Burges reopened the site after it was cut, and he says he plans to cover the bankruptcy hearings and the Karpeles trial.
“It doesn’t seem to be very widely known for some reason, but the Karpeles criminal trial has been set for 11th July 2017 at the Tokyo District Court — There has been a lot of confusion over why the charges which have been brought so far only seem to cover a subset of the suspected illegal activities at Mt Gox,” “I’ll be attending the trial at least for the beginning. It would be good to see other creditors turn up. It will, of course, be in Japanese and I will be taking a lawyer/translator to help,” says Burges.
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