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Turkish cryptocurrency exchange founder jailed for fraud

Faruk Fatih Ozer, the 29-year-old mastermind behind cryptocurrency exchange Thodex, and his two brothers have received prison sentences totaling 11,196 years each. The trio was convicted of defrauding investors out of millions.

In a sudden twist in 2021, the Thodex stock market crashed and Ozer was reported to have fled to Albania, taking with him substantial investor assets. In June, he was extradited to Turkey and later faced charges including money laundering, fraud and participation in organized crime.

During the trial, Ozer defended himself, stating that if he had had criminal intent, he would not have been so naive in his actions. He highlighted his ability, noting that he founded Thodex when he was only 22 years old.

Ozer’s brothers, Serap and Guven, were also found guilty of the same charges.

Such extended prison sentences have become common in Turkey, especially after the country abolished the death penalty in 2004, with the intention of aligning itself with European Union regulations.

Thodex, which started in 2017, had become one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in Turkey. Ozer became a notable financial figure in the country, building connections with several high-profile pro-government figures. However, the platform was abruptly shut down in April 2021, leaving investors in a lurch and Ozer disappearing. He was later arrested in Albania.

Although initial reports suggested that Ozer ran away with $2 billion, prosecutors estimate that Thodex investors lost about 356 million lire. At the time of Thodex’s collapse, this equated to about $43 million. With the recent economic recession and the devaluation of the lira, this sum has been reduced to about 13 million dollars.

This article is sourced from and written by AI.

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