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Crypto Exchange Founder Fled With $2 Billion Busted, Faces 40,000 Years in Jail

Bitcoin cryptocurrency
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The founder of Thodex, a sizeable Turkish cryptocurrency exchange service, who fled the country with $2 billion last year, has been arrested. He now faces some 40,564 years in jail.

Last year various cryptocurrency-related scams weighed in at $7.7 billion. Some of the scammers stole thousands; some ended up with millions. Still, perhaps the most notorious crypto scammer ever is supposedly Faruk Fatih Özer, the founder of Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Thodex. They allegedly fled the country in April 2021 with about $2 billion that belonged to around 400,000 Thodex clients

Faruk Fatih Özer was recently arrested in Albania after Interpol issued an appropriate order. The local police found the former Thodex chief exec in Vlorë, Albania's third most famous city, reports Decrypt. Co (opens in new tab). The identity of Özer was confirmed using biometric results.

While some Thodex employees were already detained in April 2021, the manhunt for Özer continued for over a year. As a result, he and other founders and executives of the ill-fated crypto exchange are now facing 40,564 years for each, Bloomberg (opens in new tab) reported earlier this year.

Before abandoning operations abruptly in the spring of 2021, Thodex had worked since 2017 and had about 700,000 clients in Turkey, where cryptocurrencies have been widely used to protect investments as the national currency lira has been in a secular decline for years. However, since almost everyone established a cryptocurrency exchange in Turkey, the government imposed considerably stricter rules in early 2021 to crack down on this industry.

Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • Gam3r01
    Shocker
    Reply
  • logainofhades
    I have never understood the idiocy of long sentences, that nobody would ever live through. This one is definitely the weirdest of them all, that I have seen.
    Reply
  • Gam3r01
    logainofhades said:
    I have never understood the idiocy of long sentences, that nobody would ever live through. This one is definitely the weirdest of them all, that I have seen.
    The way it was explained to me is if someone gets a "life" sentence of say 100 years, but either their lawyer or some other way get their sentence reduced they could get out without serving the remainder of their life in prison.
    By giving them some ridiculously high number of years, no matter how much they do to work down their sentence, its still "for life" without having to say it directly.
    Reply
  • logainofhades
    100yrs with no chance of parole would be plenty enough.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    XX years for each count.
    Reply
  • watzupken
    logainofhades said:
    I have never understood the idiocy of long sentences, that nobody would ever live through. This one is definitely the weirdest of them all, that I have seen.
    I agree. I guess they wanted to show the number just so that people get a sense how severe is the punishment. But it makes no sense whatsoever to give an unrealistic number. So they are going to keep the bones in the cell for the next 39950 years, assuming the person continues to live for another 50 years in prison?
    Reply
  • thisisaname
    criticaloftom said:
    Yeah but ridiculously high prison sentences don't make sense still from the standpoint of why we even have prison sentences instead of say a death penalty.

    The one reason you have a prison sentence over a death penalty is not that they have an equal amount of punishment to do with community expectation; after all then we would not only have death sentences, but also have to allow torture as a way of a 'disincentive' to criminality.
    No the reason you have a sentence and not straight state ordered murder, is you believe that people can be rehabilitated and allowing them to 'prove' that they are on the right track and thus have a sentence reduced is an effective balance to the idea of some form of impactful & meaningful penalty to the individual so that they can learn (note not set an example).

    What you are saying effectively with a ridiculously huge sentence is we sentence you against the spirit of our judicial system (to rehabilitate) to an agonizingly slow boring death in jail; and that you may as well not try to rehabilitate yourself and as such become more vicious and 'evil' because there's no incentive for you to become better.
    In what way then do you decrease criminality in any way more than a death sentence and yet; I don't know how they do prisons in turkey, but in Australia that's a whole lot of extra punishment going to taxpayers who did nothing wrong who could use for example a more effective & responsive police force for what are arguably worse crimes then effectively destroying some investment funding.
    You know rape, murder and kidnapping.

    A lot of people like the idea of someone rotting in jail.
    Reply
  • mitch074
    logainofhades said:
    100yrs with no chance of parole would be plenty enough.
    Good behaviour : halved. Sickness : again, halved. Negociated : cut by a third. You're now facing a 17 years sentence out of 100.
    With 40 000 years, you still get 6666 years to spend in jail.
    Reply
  • Mandark
    mitch074 said:
    Good behaviour : halved. Sickness : again, halved. Negociated : cut by a third. You're now facing a 17 years sentence out of 100.
    With 40 000 years, you still get 6666 years to spend in jail.
    The way it should be. He got what was deserved
    Reply
  • peachpuff
    I like this guy, if you're going to steal then steal big.
    Reply