The Tokyo District Court has sentenced the former Mt. Gox CEO, Mark Karpeles, to 2.5 years in jail. However, the conditions accompanying the sentence may see Karpeles choose whether he will serve the sentence.
According to the court, Karpeles falsified the financial books of the now-defunct Mt. Gox cryptocurrency exchange to hide the financial hole left on the exchange by hackers. As reported by Bloomberg, Mark used his personal finances to conceal the negative balances on the exchange’s financial records.
While charges against the former Mt. Gox included embezzlement of funds, the court ruled that Mark had the interest of Mt. Gox customers at heart. Although the jail term spans for 2.5 years, the court marked it as suspended implying that the former Mt. Gox CEO “won’t have to serve [the sentence] unless he commits another violation within four years.”
The court said:
The charge of electronic record tampering is true and deserves punishment, but there’s no criminal evidence of embezzlement. There is no excuse for the defendant, who is an engineer with expert knowledge, to abuse his status and authority to perform clever criminal acts.
The former Mt. Gox CEO has continued to maintain that he has nothing to do with the disappearance of cryptocurrencies from the exchange and is sorry that it happened while he was the exchange’s chief executive officer.
Karpeles has from time to time indicated that he has no trust in the Japanese justice system even accusing it of treating him unfairly
Since the fall of Mt. Gox, efforts to revive the cryptocurrency from the rambles have been staged by Brock Pierce, a crypto investor. However, the former Mt. Gox CEO has been skeptical of such plans.
On March 8, Karpeles wrote on Reddit, a social media platform, that he’s confident the court will not send him to jail.
Do you think the conditional sentence on the former Mt. Gox CEO is an indication he did not have a hand in the fall of Mt. Gox?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.