Türkei: Kryptobörsenchef Faruk Fatih Özer zu 11.196 Jahren Gefängnis verurteilt
The founder of the Turkish digital currency exchange Thodex and his two brothers have been sentenced to 11,196 years of imprisonment each, according to the state news agency Anadolu. Faruk Fatih Özer and his brothers received the verdict on Thursday after a brief trial in Istanbul. The judges‘ sentence fell far short of the prosecutors‘ demands, who had requested a prison term of 40,562 years for the 29-year-old Özer on charges of money laundering, fraud, and forming a criminal organization.
The founder of Thodex was arrested in Albania in August 2022 based on an international arrest warrant and later extradited. At that time, Turkish authorities accused Özer of fleeing with two billion dollars (1.87 billion euros) from the accounts of nearly 400,000 investors from Turkey.
Özers Kryptowährungsbörse mit Sitz in Istanbul hatte aggressiv um Anleger geworben – türkische Models versprachen etwa Luxusautos. Die Kryptowährung Dogecoin bot die Plattform zum Viertel des Preises an, den andere Börsen verlangten. Die Käufer konnten sie aber nicht wieder verkaufen oder gegen andere Digitalwährungen tauschen.
In April 2021, the website became inaccessible – a few days prior, Thodex had released a statement stating that five days were needed for an „external investment“. Turkish authorities released a photo of Özer, taken during passport control at Istanbul airport. Two days after his departure, he complained on Twitter that the accusations against him were „unfounded“. He was on his way to meet investors.
Courts frequently impose lengthy sentences.
The case gained attention in Turkey as it coincided with a cryptocurrency boom in the country. Due to the depreciation of the Turkish Lira, which started over two years ago, many Turks turned to digital currencies. However, Ankara has since imposed stricter regulations on cryptocurrencies.
Die Türkei ist für die langen Gefängnisstrafen ihrer Gerichte bekannt. Die hohen Strafen wurden üblicher, nachdem das Land im Jahr 2004 die Todesstrafe abgeschafft hatte, um seine Chancen auf einen Beitritt zur Europäischen Union zu erhöhen.