Thodex Founder Given 11,196-year Jail Sentence

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  • Thodex founder Faruk Fetih Özer has been sentenced to over 11,000 years in prison for crimes related to the exchange’s collapse, including fraud and money laundering
  • Özer, who fled Turkey with billions in exchange funds, was arrested in Albania and has claimed he was framed
  • Thodex, a once-popular Turkish exchange with nearly 400,000 users, went offline in April 2021, leading to the arrest of 83 individuals connected to the platform

The founder of Turkish crypto exchange Thodex was recently jailed for over 11,000 years for multiple crimes regarding the platform’s collapse. Faruk Fetih Özer, who was arrested in Albania last year after fleeing Turkey with access to billions of dollars in exchange funds, was handed the extraordinary sentence, was one of three given similar jail terms, finding them guilty of aggravated fraud, leading a criminal organization and money laundering. Özer managed to hide out in Albania for a little over a year after fleeing Turkey and has claimed that he was framed.

Thodex Never Came Back Online

Thodex was a reputable and well-known exchange in Turkey with almost 400,000 users, but it failed to come back online following unplanned maintenance in April 2021. Customers were not initially worried, but concern grew as the exchange remained offline. Turkish police confirmed growing fears in the days after the maintenance was announced, revealing that Özer had fled the country with as much as $2 billion of users’ funds.

Following the incident, 83 individuals linked to Thodex were apprehended, among them Özer’s siblings, two of whom have been handed five-figure sentences alongside him. An international request warrant and Interpol red notice were issued for Özer, who was found in the city of Vlora in August 2022, and his identity was confirmed via biometric data.

Özer Claims He Was Framed

Özer was extradited in April and was immediately charged with multiple crimes over the fate of Thodex. This resulted in a seven-month jail sentence two months ago for tax offenses, with Özer claiming he was framed, but this was to prove merely the appetiser.

The main course was delivered Thursday when the court sentenced him to an extraordinary 11,196 years in prison. Özer claimed in court that he “wouldn’t have acted so amateurishly if this were a criminal organization,” but, shockingly, this didn’t sway the court.