Unconfirmed rumors about the Mark Karpeles/Mt. Gox investigation

Unconfirmed rumors about the Mark Karpeles/Mt. Gox investigation

There are new unconfirmed rumors and details surfacing in the Mark Karpeles/Mt. Gox investigation according to a source close to the case, says bitcoin entrepreneur and angel investor Roger Ver.

Last week Karpeles made headlines in the world of bitcoin again, this time due to his release on bail after serving a one year sentence in a Japanese prison.

In the video from News24 Japan it said that after being held in custody for one year, Karpeles was released on $100,000 bail. For the bail conditions, he isn’t allowed to leave Japan. The Japanese prosecutors are accusing Karpeles of embezzling $3.4 million.

In the new details revealed by Ver, he said that his source who is close to the case and is reliable, says that the official investigation was closed a long time ago and Mark Karpeles was awaiting trial.  Even though the investigation was officially closed, many former employees have been called for interviews by the police recently. Therefore, it seems like the investigation has reopened.

Ver also said,

“There are theories that this is related to the fact that Japan classified bitcoin as money, and therefore, the premises of the prosecution was changed. Because of this, the investigation was restarted from square one.”

In March, The Japan Times reported that the Cabinet in Japan had approved a series of bills recognizing bitcoin and digital currencies as money. Later in May, a new law passed in Japan that will require bitcoin exchange operators to register with the Financial Services Agency (FSA) in Japan, who will oversee the exchanges in order to help ensure better protection of users.

Ver went on to say that waiting one year for trial is rare in Japan, a country with 99.99% conviction rate. The reason seems to be lack of evidence or lack of skills to investigate this complicated bitcoin case from the police. They normally don’t want to go to trial unless that are absolutely sure it will lead to a conviction. In addition the French embassy had begun to complain about the long time that Karpeles was waiting for trial.

Lastly, and what maybe the most troubling, is that while in prison it’s rumored that the Japanese police tried to make Karpeles sign a confession that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. In Japan, it’s very common that the police coerce people into signing confessions. This is one reason why the conviction rate is so high in Japan.

In a comment posted to social media, Karpeles said that he will not be commenting on his case or doing any interviews.

This however isn’t going to stop him from doing more bitcoin work. Maybe not in the way you are thinking though. Karpeles also stated that he has no plans to get back into bitcoin, except to try to “finish tracking specific coins on the blockchain and pass results to relevant authorities.”

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david@bitcoin.com'
David is a writer, researcher, and developer who is passionate about bitcoin and blockchain. He writes for Bitcoin.com, Blockchain.com, and is the founder of Bitcoinx.io (which was acquired by Bitcoin.com). David previously used to write and curate for Myspace and has worked in the fintech and payments space for over 15 years.