Mumbai, September 9: The tainted Turkish cryptocurrency founder, along with his two brothers, has been sentenced to an astounding 11,196 years in prison each. Faruk Fatih Ozer, the former head of Thodex, who had fled to Albania, faced charges of money laundering, fraud, and establishing a criminal organisation. Prosecutors had initially sought a staggering 40,562-year prison sentence for Ozer, reported the Anadolu state news agency reported on Friday.
According to Turkish media reports, his two brothers, Serap and Guven, were also handed the same lengthy prison sentence following a brief trial, with the verdict being delivered late on Thursday. Turkey has gained notoriety for imposing substantial prison terms, a trend that became more prevalent after the country abolished the death penalty in 2004 as part of its efforts to align with European Union requirements. US Securities and Exchange Commission Sues Eight Celebrities, Including Lindsay Lohan, for Crypto Fraud via Market Manipulation.
In April 2021, there were reports that Ozer left Turkey, claiming to have taken $2 billion of investors' money with him. However, this amount has been questioned since then. According to prosecutors, when Ozer left Turkey in April 2021, he moved around 250 million Turkish liras (about $30 million at that time) from user accounts to three hidden accounts. A significant portion of this money ended up in a bank in Malta. The indictment stated that the Ozer brothers caused a total of 356 million Turkish liras in losses to their clients. ChatGPT-Like AI Chat Tool Used by CryptoRom Scammers To Trick Users Into Scams, Says Report.
"If I were to establish a criminal organisation, I would not have acted so amateurishly," Anadolu quoted Ozer as telling the court. The case made headlines because it coincided with a period of significant growth in the Turkish cryptocurrency market. However, this growth has since slowed down primarily due to increased government regulations. The indictment stated that the Ozer brothers were responsible for causing 356 million Turkish liras in losses to their clients.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 09, 2023 06:53 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).