MtGox CEO Off The Hook For Embezzlement Charges, Gets Suspended Sentence
Nathan Graham's original article for www.ethnews.com reduced by 53%
On Thursday, March 14, Mark Karpelès, the former CEO of now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange MtGox appeared in a Tokyo court. According to a Wall Street Journal report, a three-judge panel found Karpelès not guilty on charges of embezzlement and abusing his position in the company for personal gain. The embattled ex-CEO was found guilty on charges of producing illegal records, for which the court gave him a suspended sentence of two and a half years; Karpelès won't go to jail if he behaves himself for the next four years.
A bit of backstory: In 2014, the MtGox exchange stopped trading after a hack led to 850,000 bitcoin being stolen. Fast-forward to the 2019 trial: Chief Judge Tomoyuki Nakayama claimed Karpelès' actions did not cause MtGox any financial harm and that it is very common for business owners to borrow money from their own company and neglect proper accounting. According to The Japan Times, Japanese prosecutors were looking for a 10-year sentence based on the fact that Karpelès used customer funds to purchase a 3D-printing company.
The three judges ruled that the embezzlement charges could not be proved because MtGox did not have a suitable accounting structure in place to document when money was borrowed from the exchange.
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