Founder of doomed Thodex exchange sentenced to over 11,000 years

Faruk Fatih Özer, the founder of failed Turkish crypto exchange Thodex, was sentenced to 11,196 years in prison for fraud, laundering of property values and other crimes. 

Özer’s two brothers, who prosecutors claimed worked at Thodex as well, received the same ultra-lengthy prison term.

Özer founded Thodex in 2017 with 400 thousand liras in capital (nearly $15,000), according to the indictment from the prosecutor’s office. 

The exchange announced in April 2021 that it would halt transactions for its roughly 400,000 customers for four to five days. Traders never regained access to their crypto, and shortly after the shutdown, Özer fled to Albania. 

Özer was captured by authorities in Albania on Aug. 30, 2022, after his customers lost an estimated $2.6 billion due to Thodex’s collapse, per Chainalysis data.

Prosecutors put the amount lost at a much lower 356 million liras (about $13,259,000), according to state run news outlet Anadolu Agency.

Özer didn’t show remorse for the crimes he was convicted of at his sentencing hearing. Rather, he told the court that Thodex was only a company that went bankrupt.

He also said that he was “smart enough” to run any financial institution in the world, adding that he wouldn’t have acted so “amateurishly” if he actually was running a criminal organization. 

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