Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange has become a part of the Bitcoin folk fare as it was the first prominent crypto exchange that was hacked and lost millions of dollars. The CEO of the exchange Mark Karpeles was taken to court by the investors on claims of him manipulating the data.
A Japanese court where the trails were going on, found Mark Karpeles guilty of falsifying electronic data but acquitted him on the charges of embezzlement. He was also sentenced to a suspended jail term of 10 years. Now, Karpeles lawyer Nobuyasu Ogata has come out to claim that the prosecutors ignored key evidence in the case.
The lawyer stated,
“The police suddenly arrest you for breach of trust, don’t recover the stolen merchandise and let the criminal go free. That’s essentially what happened with Mt. Gox”
Ogata claims that the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department took the CEO under the custody only to get a confession out of him. He went on to claim that Alexander Vinnik, the primary suspect in money laundering with connections to the Tokyo exchange, but when he tried to indict him in the case, the prosecutors objected saying that Vinnik should be assumed innocent until proven guilty.
Mark Karpeles also revealed that he was not treated well in the police custody and often put under harsh conditions. He was put under 8-hours of grueling questioning. Karpeles explained,
“I was asked about the missing bitcoins. I was even asked if I was Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. I was asked to sign confessions and statements in Japanese. Sometimes, the prosecutor would have pre-written statements for me in the morning they wanted signed.”
The lawyer claims that Mr. Karpeles never confessed to the charges against him and later was indicted for tampering with electronic documents, with the initial charges of fraud and embezzlement dropped, post the trial.
Mt. Gox was one of the largest operating Bitcoin exchange of its time which was responsible for handling 70% of the total Bitcoin transactions around the globe. The exchange was hacked and it lost a total of 740,000 Bitcoins or 7 percent of the global BTCs in supply at the time. it also reported a theft of $27 million from its bank accounts.