Mark Karpelès, the former CEO of defunct Bitcoin exchange platform, Mt. Gox says he is innocent of the charges against him. Meanwhile, prosecutors say the 33-year old of French descent should face ten years imprisonment for his alleged crimes.
Karpelès Maintains Innocence
Quoting local media sources in Japan, the South China Morning Post say Karpelès apologized for the collapse of Mt. Gox. He, however, maintained his innocence of any wrongdoing in the matter.
Karpelès spoke on Thursday (Dec. 27, 2018) during the closing arguments of the case. The former Mt. Gox CEO stands accused of fraud to the tune of ¥340 million (about $3 million), as well as violations of corporate law.
The trial began in mid-2017 and reports indicate that the court will reach a verdict on March 15, 2019.
Prosecutors Call for 10-Year Jail-term
If found guilty, Karpelès could face up to ten years in prison. Earlier in the month, prosecutors on the case called for such a sentence given the “extremely vicious” nature of the acts.
According to the prosecutors, the embattled Karpelès embezzled funds in the last quarter of 2013, using the misappropriated money for acquisitions and rent payments. In their closing arguments at the time, the prosecutors said:
There was no documentation of loans, and there was no intention of paying back.
This statement came as a result of Karpelès’s counterclaim that the funds were supposed to be a temporary loan. The prosecutors rejected his argument calling his actions a betrayal of his clients and a breach of their trust.
Indictment Unrelated to Bitcoin Loss
This indictment isn’t related to the Mt. Gox Bitcoin hack that led to the loss of 850,000 BTC valued at just under $500 million at the time. The heist, one of the biggest in Bitcoin history caused the platform to go bankrupt. Before then, Mt. Gox was the largest BTC exchange service, handling more than 70 percent of all BTC trades worldwide.
Mt. Gox is currently undergoing civil rehabilitation as creditors look to recoup their stolen funds. Earlier in the year, Bitcoinist reported Karpelès saying that he’d refuse to collect a share of the 160,000 BTC windfall that would go to company shareholders.
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