Fatih Özer, the founder of the failed crypto exchange Thodex, has been sentenced to 11,196 years, equivalent to 466 life sentences, in Turkish prison, Bloomberg reported on Sept. 7.
Özer was sentenced alongside his brother Güven Özer and sister Serap Özer for fraud, among other related crimes such as organizing and managing criminal organizations, laundering of criminal proceeds, and others.
The court also imposed a fine of 135 million liras ($5 million approximately) on the defendants.
The three were part of the 21 defendants charged by Turkish authorities for the failure of Thodex. The exchange was one of the biggest in the country before it suddenly went offline in April 2021.
This affected more than 400,000 users who lost access to about $2 billion of their crypto deposits. Özer initially escaped to Albania, but an Interpol Red Notice ensured his arrest in August 2022.
Meanwhile, 16 of the 21 defendants were acquitted, while four of those already jailed were released for lack of evidence. The rest got various jail terms.
However, Özer maintained his innocence even at the time of conviction. According to him, he was not running a criminal organization. He reportedly said:
“Thodex is just a company and went bankrupt. There is no mention of a criminal organization in Thodex.”
A life imprisonment conviction in Turkey has a minimum term of 24 years.
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