Japan court hands Mt Gox founder 2.5 years suspended sentence, reports Kyodo

Mark Karpeles former head of the collapsed bitcoin exchange MtGox was handed a suspended sentence of two and a half years

"In summary, the court found that the way he ran Mt. Gox was a total mess and that he tampered with records to hide the fact it was missing a lot of Bitcoin, but he did not do it for personal gain or have ill intent".

Karpeles eventually won bail in July 2016 - almost a year after his arrest - paying 10 million yen to secure his freedom pending a trial, which began in July 2017. The incident with Mt.Gox pushed the country to introduce a licensing framework for cryptocurrency exchanges.

However, the charges faced by Karpeles, a self-confessed computer "geek" whose real first name is Robert, did not relate directly to the exchange's dramatic collapse.

Not long after, Mt. Gox actually "found" 200,000 of the "lost" Bitcoins.

The Mt. Gox incident has gone down in the annals of crypto history as a watershed moment.

In those emails, which TDB said were verified as genuine by law enforcement and Karpeles' lawyers, McCaleb suggested using automated trading bots to edge the bitcoin price upward and use United States dollars to purchase back the missing BTC. The laws for exchanges in Japan also requires that investors and creditors get fair compensation and protection.

A 2016 article in The Daily Beast alleged that emails it obtained between Karpeles and original Mt. Gox owner Jed McCaleb revealed both knew of a 80,000 BTC shortfall in the company's wallets in February 2011 - shortly after Karpeles took the helm. A court-appointed trustee has periodically liquidated vast amounts of Bitcoin, a move that many critics say depressed the market.

Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are big in Japan
Mt. Gox’s Mark Karpelès could avoid prison, despite faking financial records

Mt. Gox was the largest bitcoin exchange from 2013-2014, handling nearly three-quarters of the total global bitcoin transactions. He received a suspended jail sentence of two and a half years.

A Tokyo District Court has ruled that Karpeles is not guilty of embezzlement, erasing any chance that the suspected shyster would spend any significant time behind bars.

The charge of electronic record tampering is true and deserves punishment, but there's no criminal evidence of embezzlement...there is no excuse for the defendant, who is an engineer with expert knowledge, to abuse his status and authority to perform clever criminal acts.

"Karpeles has said he was interrogated for months without a lawyer and bullied into signing a confession, a "nightmare" process during which he lost 77 pounds over 11 months".

Do you think the conditional sentence on the former Mt. Gox CEO is an indication he did not have a hand in the fall of Mt. Gox?

Images courtesy of Bloomberg, Pxhere, and Pixabay.

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