The founder of Thodex and his two siblings were sentenced for fraud, money laundering and leading a criminal organisation.
A court in Turkey has convicted the founder and former CEO of a crypto exchange and sentenced him to more than 11,000 years in jail.
The crypto exchange, Thodex, was founded in 2017 and became one of Turkey’s largest before it abruptly shut down services in 2021, leaving more than 400,000 investors without access to their funds.
The former CEO, Faruk Fatih Özer, fled the country with stolen assets worth more than USD 2 billion but was later arrested in Albania in 2022 on an international warrant from Interpol. He was extradited to Turkey this year to face trial.
According to local reports, Özer and his two siblings have now been convicted for fraud, money laundering, leading a criminal organisation over the theft of customer assets.
They were sentenced separately for multiple crimes against 2,027 victims, resulting in jail sentences of 11,196 years, 10 months and 15 days, along with a USD 5-million fine.
Prosecutors had asked for Özer to be sentenced to 40,562 years in prison. In Turkey, lengthy prison sentences are common since the abolition of the death penalty in 2004.
Özer denied any criminal intent and claimed that Thodex was a bankrupt company.
The case involved 21 defendants, many of whom also received prison sentences.