A Turkish court sentenced Faruk Fatih Ozer, the founder of one of Turkey’s largest crypto exchanges Thodex, and his brother and sister to 11,196 years, 10 months and 15 days in prison for money laundering. writes Bloomberg. Prosecutors demanded a prison sentence of up to 40,462 years for Ozer, but the court imposed a more lenient sentence.
A court in Istanbul announced the verdict on Thursday evening. There were a total of 21 defendants in the case, Turkish agency Anadolu reported. Sixteen of them were acquitted of fraud charges due to lack of evidence, four were released and the rest were sentenced to various prison terms on other charges. In addition to the prison sentence, the court imposed a total fine of 26.6 billion lira (around $991.3 million), including 8.9 billion lira (around $330.4 million) for the defendants personally.
Faruk Fatih Ozer founded the crypto exchange Thodex in 2017. In 2021, the crypto exchange suddenly stopped trading. According to local media reports, Ozer fled to Albania with his brother and sister, taking with him $2 million from investors. In 2022, he was arrested in Albania at the request of Interpol and extradited to Turkey in June 2023. According to prosecutors, the damage caused by the fraudsters’ activities amounted to $13 million, although according to the American blockchain company Chainalysis, the damage is much higher – about $2.6 billion.