Mark Karpeles, former CEO of defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt Gox, has been given a two-and-a-half year suspended sentence for data manipulation by the Tokyo District Court.
The Mt Gox exchange collapsed back in 2014 upon the revelation that it had lost more than 800,000 Bitcoin. Karpeles had been accused of both embezzlement as well manipulating data on the exchange platform.
His trial began in June 2018 after Karpeles was released on bail in 2017.
The Tokyo District Court reached its verdict today ruling that Karpeles committed electronic record tampering by occasionally mixing his personal finances with the exchange’s finances to hide the fact money had been lost through hacks, reports Bloomberg.
However, the 33-year-old was acquitted of his embezzlement accusations, with the court concluding there is no criminal evidence to substantiate the claims.
He has been given a two-and-a-half year suspended sentence for the data manipulation charges, and will not serve jail time unless the former CEO commits another crime in the next four years.
The court stated that Karpeles caused “massive harm to the trust of his users” and “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.”
Karpeles denied involvement in the Bitcoin disappearance, apologising that it had happened under his watch.
Reportedly, he had initially cooperated with the Tokyo police but stopped after realising they suspected he might have been involved. Investigators eventually arrested him for falsifying documents.
While a verdict in Tokyo has been reached, Karpeles still has a case against him pending in Chicago.
Discover how the former CEO filed a motion to dismiss the case in Illinois, which has since been denied.