Next week the notorious Mt Gox CEO, Mark Karpeles, will be going to trial for the missing bitcoins lost on the exchange back in 2014. 850,000 BTC was removed from Mt Gox trading platform, and later Karpeles allegedly found 200,000 BTC kept in cold storage. Karpeles will face the Japanese court’s decisions concerning the rest of the $1.6 billion worth of BTC gone missing.
Investigating the Lavish Lifestyle of Mark Karpeles
Back in October of 2015, Mark Karpeles was arrested for allegedly exploiting the Mt Gox record books, and Tokyo prosecutors accused the CEO of embezzling funds. According to regional reports at the time, Tokyo Police initially arrested Karpeles for moving USD $1 Million in yen to his bank account. Further, many well known Japanese publications such as Yomiuri and Jiji detailed that Karpeles lived a posh lifestyle and had solicited “several women whom he met at venues that offer sexual services.” A few week’s prior to Karpeles October arrest the former Mt Gox executive also was caught moving $166,000 worth of yen to his personal account.
A year later in July of 2016, a much thinner Karpeles was released by posting bail to the tune of $95,000 worth of yen. Karpeles has been a free man ever since but has been mandated to stay in Japan. Now, this Tuesday, July 11 Karpeles will face the Japanese prosecutor’s allegations that he embezzled some of the missing bitcoins. According to his lawyer, Kiichi Iino, Karpeles plans to plead not guilty to the charges against him. “He is keeping calm as the trial gets underway,” Karpeles lawyer explained to the Associated Press.
The Recent Visibility of ‘Magical Tux’ and the Known ‘Destination’ of the Missing Coins
Karpeles has been very vocal on the Mt Gox subreddit forum and Twitter since his release. Even speaking about the possibility of Mt Gox becoming solvent due to bitcoin’s rising price on the Mt Gox insolvency subreddit. Prosecutors will investigate Karpeles assets and lifestyle before and after the Mt Gox bankruptcy. If any manipulation is found Japanese laws may not be so easy on Karpeles as the country has a 99 percent conviction rate.
Further, the trial comes at a time when the blockchain surveillance company Chainalysis explained to a group of U.S. Senators that they know the “destination” of the missing 650,000 BTC. “Chainalysis was the official investigator in the Mt. Gox bankruptcy case, and the destination of those coins is definitely known,” Chainalysis co-founder Jonathan Levin said this past June.
Special Guest Protests
Additionally, Karpeles will have some guests at his trial like the creators of Mtgoxprotest.com, a website and a group of dedicated protestors that have been following the scandal since the insolvency started. Many bitcoin enthusiasts know the protestors/victims from their pictures on many tech magazine covers that reported on the story in 2014. On June 25 Kolin Burges reopened the site after it was hacked, and he says he plans on covering the Bankruptcy hearings and Karpeles trial again.
“It doesn’t seem to be very widely known for some reason, but the Karpeles criminal trial has been set for 11th July 2017 at the Tokyo District Court — There has been a lot of confusion over why the charges which have been brought so far only seem to cover a subset of the suspected illegal activities at Mt Gox,” Burges notes. “I’ll be attending the trial at least for the beginning. It would be good to see other creditors turn up. It will, of course, be in Japanese and I will be taking a lawyer/translator to help.”
What do you think about Mark Karpeles upcoming criminal trial? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Pixabay, Mtgoxprotest.com, RFI, and Twitter.
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