Japanese prosecutors call for 10 year jail sentence for Bitcoin-exchange chief accused of embezzlement

The crypto crackdown reached new levels in Japan on Wednesday as Mark Karpeles, former CEO of Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, was told he could spend ten years in jail if convicted of alleged embezzlement.

The now-defunct Mt Gox suffered a major hack in 2014 while Karpeles was president, resulting in 850,000 BTC ($2.87 billion) being stolen. While not directly linked to the hack, Karpeles is accused of embezzling $3m in funds in the aftermath and manipulating Mt. Gox ledgers to finance his own property and business investments.  

Karpeles denied any wrongdoing to the Tokyo Court, following a series of public appeals to traders on Reddit vowing to cooperate with the payout proceedings to compensate victims (in bitcoin) for any losses. The Frenchman is currently on bail in Japan where he is under court orders to remain. The country's crypto exchanges have been stung by a series of hacks, most recently in January, which saw Coincheck lose more than $500,000 worth of altcoins.

It is unknown when the trial will end. (Source: Cointelegraph)

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Isabel is The Block's London and European reporter. She previously reported for Reuters in Madrid and London, following on from her time as a freelance journalist for the Guardian and the New York Times. She has a Bachelors in War Studies from King’s College London and a Master of Philosophy from the University of Oxford. Conflict of Interest: Edward Woodford, the CEO of SeedCX, is Isabel's brother. She does not report on any issues related to Seed or advise other authors in any regard.