Turkiye: Crypto boss sentenced to over 11,000 years


Faruk Fatih Özer, the former head of the crypto exchange platform Thodex, has been handed a sentence of 11,196 years in prison by a Turkish court for a litany of charges, including fraud.

The court also imposed a substantial judicial fine of 135 million Turkish Liras, equivalent to approximately $5 million.

In a late-night ruling on Sept. 7, an Istanbul court found Özer and his two siblings guilty of aggravated fraud, leading a criminal organization and money laundering. These convictions stem from their involvement in the collapse of Thodex, which left over 400,000 investors in financial turmoil when it suddenly went offline in April 2021.

While the prosecutor’s indictment estimated the losses suffered by Thodex investors at 356 million liras ($13.2 million), local media have reported figures reaching as high as $2 billion.

Özer fled to Albania shortly after the exchange’s collapse. However, he was apprehended in August 2022 following an Interpol red notice issued against him.

“I am smart enough to lead any institution on Earth,” Özer was cited as saying in court. “That is evident in this company I established at the age of 22. I wouldn’t have acted so amateurishly if this was a criminal organization.”

By April, he had been extradited to Türkiye, where he was taken into custody by law enforcement. Özer faced a total of seven charges, including establishing and managing an organization with the intent of committing a crime, membership in an organization, fraud involving information systems used as tools by banks or credit institutions, fraud against merchants or company executives and cooperative managers as well as laundering the proceeds of criminal activities.__Daily Hurriyet