Turkish prosecutors are demanding sentences totaling up to 40,564 years for 21 of the founders and executives of the crypto-exchange Thodex. The collapse of the exchange resulted in losses of TRY 356 million ($24 million).
Thodex was a part of the boom that drew tens of thousands of Turks looking to protect their investments from high inflation and a volatile currency. In April 2021, Ozer stated in an undisclosed location that he will refund investor funds and return to Turkey to face punishment at a later date.
According to the allegation, the exchange’s failure resulted in total losses of TRY 356 million. This sum is significantly lower than the $2.6 billion anticipated in a Chainalysis report in February. According to the research, in 2021, Thodex was responsible for over 90% of the global value lost to rug pulls.
The defendants are accused of forming a criminal organization, engaging in fraud using informatics systems, and laundering money from illegal activity.
Faruk Fatih Ozer, the 28-year-old CEO who has been missing for the past year, is among those charged, according to a report, citing the Demiroren News Agency. Since footage of Ozer was originally released in April 2021, Turkish police teams have gone to four countries, including Albania, in an attempt to locate him. Ozer remains on Interpol’s wanted list despite the red alert put on the website.
Turkey is one of the world’s largest markets for cryptocurrency adoption. Turkey accounts for about 16 percent of worldwide cryptocurrency users, according to data provided by Coinmarketcap. The country is currently ranked fourth in the world for the biggest number of crypto users.
Following recent measures by Turkey’s central bank, the Turkish Lira saw extreme volatility in December 2021. While growing inflation has been a source of concern for locals, investors have begun to put their money into crypto assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.