Verdict Against Mark Karpeles, CEO Of MtGox, Set To Be Pronounced In 2 Days

For over 5 years now, the CEO of MtGox has been on trial for embezzlement of millions of dollars and promoting fake digital assets. This has been dubbed the “Bitcoin MtGox saga.” If found guilty, Mark Karpeles, the 33-year-old CEO, will serve up to five years in prison. The entire cryptocurrency community has been waiting to hear the final verdict. According to news outlets in Asia yesterday, the Japanese Court will finally pronounce its verdict on the 15th of March 2019. Then, the world will know if Karpeles is guilty or not.

CEO of MtGox, Mark Karpeles, Guilt Or Not Guilty?

During the last five years, while the case has been in court, Karpeles has been in a Japanese prison awaiting his conviction and sentencing. If the final conviction is that he is guilty? The five years he has already spent in prison may be removed from his 10-year term. While many members of the cryptocurrency community are sure that Karpeles is guilty, the CEO insists that he is not. He knows that the evidence against him is implicating and he has said that the only way to prove his innocence is to find the real culprit. In his words:

“I swear to God that I am innocent … Most people will not believe what I say. The only solution I have is to actually find the real culprits.”

Recap Of Bitcoin MtGox Saga

In the year 2014, MtGox was one of the largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the industry. The exchange accounted for more than 70% of the BTC trading volume at the time. However, up to 850000 units of Bitcoins were lost in February 2014 under strange circumstances. Until now, it’s still not clear how the Bitcoins got missing. However, just after the incident, Mark Karpeles published a blog stating that he had found 200000 of the 850000 in cold cryptocurrency storage.

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Today – BTC / USD

Name Price
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$10,070.00-5.23%

In 2015, following series of investigation, WizSec, a cybersecurity firm in Japan, concluded that most of the so-called missing Bitcoins were stolen from the hot wallet of the cryptocurrency exchange. What’s more, the stealing started in 2011 according to the report. This made Mark Karpeles a suspect in the investigation. He was subsequently accused of playing a direct role in stealing the cryptocurrency from his own customers. At the time, a chief attorney at a law firm called Mizuho Chuo said that if the Bitcoins disappeared because the exchange was hacked, the investigation would be outside the exchange. However, if it was outright embezzlement, the investigations would be directed to Mark Karpeles, the CEO of the firm. He said:

“If it was an outside hacker who stole the currency, it’s a problem. But if he stole even part of the money, it would be embezzlement. His defense counsel needs a high level of evidence to win an innocent verdict.”

Throughout the five-year-long trail, Karpeles was unable to clear his name. There hasn’t been enough evidence to exonerate him. So, chances are, he will be found guilty and may have to appeal the verdict.

What do you think? Will the CEO be found guilty for the Bitcoin MtGox saga? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Max writes about blockchain projects and regulation with a special focus on United States and China. He joined Smarterum after years of writing for various media outlets.

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