According to the Turkish state-run news agency, Anadolu Agency, Faruk Fatih Ozer has been sentenced to 11,196 years, 10 months, and 15 days in prison by a Turkish court for various crimes, including fraudulent activities. Moreover, Ozer’s two siblings were also convicted.
About the verdict
On Thursday, September 7, the court in Istanbul delivered its verdict, stating that Faruk Fatih Ozer, his sister Serap Ozer, and his brother Guven Ozer were found guilty in conducting illegal business, which led to the formation of a criminal organisation and money laundering.
“I am smart enough to lead any institution on Earth,” said Ozer in court. “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 organisation.”
Faruk Fatih Ozer has also been imposed a judicial fine of 135 million liras (≈$5 million).
The same day, the Anatolian 9th Heavy Penal Court cleared 16 out of 21 defendants and set free 4 out of 7 of those who had been in custody due to insufficient evidence. Rest of the defendants got different prison sentences for a range of offences.
Once the largest Turkish crypto exchange, Thodex was founded by Faruk Fatih Ozer in 2017. In April 2021, the exchange suddenly stopped all sales and went offline. Initially, Thodex executives claimed that the platform was temporarily closed due to an “abnormal fluctuation in the company accounts.” However, Ozer left Turkey and flew to Albania right after this announcement.
As a result, more than 400,000 clients lost access to their funds, which accounted for about $2 billion. However, the total amount of losses remains unclear. According to Chainalysis, the number might be $2,6 billion.
Ministry of the Interior quickly declared Thodex a scam. Following an Interpol red notice, Ozer was arrested in Albania in August 2022 and extradited to Turkey in April 2023. There, he was sentenced to 7 months in jail.
An Interpol red notice is a formal international request to law enforcement authorities around the globe. The notice urges them to locate and temporarily detain a person before their extradition, surrender, or any other legal action.
Earlier, the local prosecutor's office requested more than 40,000 years in prison for Thodex founder and each of 21 defendants.
This news comes as another good reminder that it is better to store cryptocurrency in wallets rather than exchanges. Check out our guide on choosing a wallet to store BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies!
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