Former Mt. Gox Head Cleared of Embezzlement Charges


Tokyo, March 15 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo District Court ruled on Friday that Mark Karpeles, former head of Japanese bitcoin exchange operator Mt. Gox, which failed in 2014 following an alleged cyberattack, is not guilty of embezzlement.

The court rejected public prosecutors' allegations that Karpeles committed embezzlement by transferring about 341 million yen of funds including cash deposited by Mt. Gox customers to his bank account and using the money for personal purposes such as the purchase of a luxury bed.

Handing down the ruling, presiding Judge Tomoyuki Nakayama recognized the transferred funds as lending from the company to Karpeles, citing his use of his credit card to pay company bills as one of the reasons for the decision.

The court, meanwhile, gave him a jail term of two years and six months, suspended for four years, for manipulating cash data in Mt. Gox's transaction system in February-September 2013, in order to pretend that the company had plenty of cash.

Karpeles faced embezzlement charges after Mt. Gox announced in February 2014 the disappearance of bitcoin valued at 47 billion yen at the exchange rate of the time, as well as 2.8 billion yen of customer deposits.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press