Farouk Fatih Özer, the former CEO of the now-defunct crypto exchange Thodex, has been sentenced to seven months in jail. The executive was convicted for failing to submit the required documents to Turkey’s tax board.
Thodex, which was once a prominent crypto exchange in Turkey, experienced an abrupt closure, leading its CEO, Farouk Fatih Özer, to flee to Albania.
However, after an Interpol Red Notice was issued, Özer was deported back to Turkey to be held accountable for the approximately $2 billion worth of cryptocurrencies belonging to investors.
Özer, along with 21 other defendants, is embroiled in a protracted court case facing charges of alleged fraud, money laundering, and operating a criminal network through Thodex.
Throughout the trial, Özer vehemently denied any wrongdoing and asserted that he was not the official representative of Thodex at the time, which made him unable to produce the requested books.
Former CEO Of Thodex Claims To Have Been “Framed”
In addition to the aforementioned charges, Özer is also facing accusations of defrauding Thodex investors and is currently awaiting a hearing to address these claims. Despite the allegations, the entrepreneur maintains his innocence and asserts that the defendants have framed him.
During Özer’s first court appearance in June, he denied all charges and claimed to have been framed. He stated, “I started my company and my company was hacked,” addressing the court.
The legal proceedings against Özer commenced after his failure to adhere to a notification issued on October 30, 2021. The notification requested the submission of documents pertaining to his business. Despite the notification, Özer did not provide the best requested documents within the designated legal timeframe.
Özer’s claim that a trustee had been assigned to oversee the company in his absence, he was unable to produce the required documents to the Tax Inspection Board. As a result, he was convicted.
Initially, the prosecutor in Özer’s case requested a five-year prison sentence on charges of “smuggling” under the Tax Procedure Law.
However, the court initially sentenced the crypto entrepreneur to one year and six months of imprisonment. It was subsequently reduced to seven months and 15 days.
The reduction in sentences can be attributed to various factors. These included Özer’s social relations, as well as his overall behaviour and conduct throughout the trial.
In April 2021, the defunct cryptocurrency exchange platform abruptly halted trading and withdrawal services. This left approximately 391,000 customers with losses amounting to around $2 billion. Following this incident, Turkish police authorities initiated a large-scale investigation into the platform.