Mark Karpeles Claims Innocence as Mt Gox Trial Draws to a Close

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The former CEO of Mt Gox has maintained his innocence during his closing statements in court late last week. Mark Karpeles – former Mt Gox CEO – was at the helm of the firm when it mysteriously lost millions of investor funds, forcing it to file for bankruptcy. He is in court facing charges of embezzling funds from the exchange to the tune of $3 million and cooking Mt Gox’s books. In his closing arguments, Karpeles once again reiterated that he is innocent and apologized to investors for not protecting them properly.

Mt Gox Will Forever be Remembered

The events that unfolded in 2014 as Mt Gox collapsed into administration will go down in this history books of the crypto world. More than 800,000 Bitcoin went missing with a then market value of $480 million – not a small sum to go missing that’s for sure. While a handful were later discovered in a hardware wallet, the remaining funds have yet to be located and investors are still very much in the dark.

Some Good News for Mt Gox Investors

While it will never make up for the huge losses investors have incurred over the years – not to mention the inability to cash out at Bitcoin’s ATH back in December 2017 – investors can now start requesting their lost funds. The liquidators began repaying investors by liquidating huge chunks of Bitcoin, but this was causing severe damage to the market value of Bitcoin. Now investors can request the actual sum of Bitcoin back, but there is no guarantee they will ever receive the full amount.

Seeking a Huge Punishment

Prosecutors originally sought a five-year jail term for Karpeles, but are now increasing their goals to a whopping 10 years behind bars. The Mt Gox incident has shaped the crypto exchange world and it’s the reason there are so many regulations in place – especially in Japan. There is a good chance the court will use Karpeles as an example to the rest of the crypto exchange world and give him the maximum sentence recommended.

Japan Learning its Lesson

Japan has learned its lesson from Mt Gox, and it’s keen to never make this mistake again. Shortly after the Mt Gox incident occurred, the Japanese Financial Services Agency (JFSA) introduced a set of laws and frameworks for the crypto world. Since then, these rules and regulations have been tweaked to give investors as much security as possible. In fact, the JFSA recently teased a new amendment to the regulations, with such expected to go live during Q1 2019.
Karpeles could be looking at 10 years behind bars, which shows just how seriously his crimes are viewed. Only time will truly tell whether Karpales is guilty and all eyes are on the Mt Gox Bitcoin stash to see what becomes of it post-trial. The court is due to pass its verdict on March 15, 2019.