A little over a year ago, Faruk Fatih Ozer, founder and CEO of crypto exchange Thodex was arrested by Turkish authorities. After a long trial, Fatih was sentenced to over 11,000 years in prison after being found guilty of several financial crimes.
Over 11,000 Years In Prison, Crypto Exchange Founder Sentenced
According to a report, a Turkish court ruled against Fatih Ozer over its involvement in fraud and other financial crimes, including aggravated fraud, money laundering, and running a criminal organization. Fatih ran Thodex until 2021, when the platform imploded, leaving hundreds of its clients without funds.
In addition to Fatih, the Turkish court sentenced two of his family members. The individuals took over $2 billion from its customers until the crypto exchange collapsed in April 2021 when the suspect ran from Turkey in an attempt to avoid a criminal investigation.
In late 2022, when other crypto companies collapsed due to the prolonged crypto winter, Fatih was captured by Albanian authorities and deported to his home country. The capture followed a Red Notice alert broadcasted by the International Police (Interpol).
The founder of the Terra (LUNA) ecosystem, Do Kwon, was captured a few months later in a similar fashion. Fatih’s was the first of many arrests in the crypto space as exchanges and lending platforms were crushed under the pressure of a high-interest rate environment.
Similar to the collapse of the Terra ecosystem, the collapse of crypto exchange Thodex was felt across Turkey, and Fatih’s arrest became a high-priority arrest for national authorities. The report stated:
Thodex was one of Turkey’s largest crypto exchanges before it suddenly went offline in April 2021 and Özer went missing. More than 400,000 members were left without access to their money (…). The notice alleged Özer acted with fraudulent intent from the beginning and that Thodex was a criminal organization.
In Turkey, when compared to the local currency, the price of Bitcoin has been making all-time highs, even after its collapse against the dollar. The country has been suffering from high inflation, leading many citizens to seek a decentralized alternative.
As of this writing, Bitcoin (BTC) trades at $25,800 with sideways movement in low timeframes.
Cover image from Unsplash, chart from Tradingview