Türkiye, cryptocurrency scam: sentenced to 11 thousand years

Faruk Fatih Ozer, founder of one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange platforms in Turkey, ‘Thodex’, was sentenced together with his two brothers to 11,000, 196 years and 10 months in prison after charges of fraud, money laundering and having founded a criminal organization. This was announced by Anadolu Agency. Founded in 2017, Thodex had 391,000 users when it halted operations in April 2021. Initially, the platform claimed that the halt in operations was due to a cyber attack and that transactions would resume in a few days but in reality Ozer fled Turkey with his clients’ money, around $2 billion in cryptocurrencies, and took refuge in Albania. Following customer protests, Ankara froze the platform and charged 21 people with fraud, including Ozer, who issued an Interpol red notice. The Turk was arrested in Albania, in Vlore, in August last year and subsequently extradited to Turkey. During the trial, Ozer said he repaid his clients while in Albania and denied the charge of organized crime. According to the indictment, Ozer had transferred part of the stolen cryptocurrencies, worth $30 million, to a bank in Malta at the time of the escape.