Turkish crypto exchange Thodex CEO jailed for 11,196 years

Turkish crypto exchange Thodex CEO jailed for 11,196 years

By Charles Thuo - min read
  • The long-drawn-out case against the Thodex crypto exchange had 21 defendants.
  • 16 defendants were acquitted of “qualified fraud” for lack of evidence.
  • The CEO, Faruk Fatih zer, and his two siblings received the highest sentencing.

A Turkish court sentenced Faruk Fatih zer, the former CEO of the crypto exchange Thodex, to 11,196 years in jail for “establishing, managing, and being a member of an organization,” “qualified fraud,” and “laundering of property values.”

According to the Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu Agency, the Anatolian 9th High Criminal Court condemned zer, together with his two siblings, to the same prison term of 11,196 years, 10 months, and 15 days, as well as a $5 million fine.

The collapse of Thodex

Before it dramatically collapsed in 2021, the Turkish cryptocurrency exchange was one of the biggest trading platforms for digital assets in the nation. Without warning, the exchange stopped the operations of its trading platform, and the founder, zer, left Turkey with $2 billion worth of cryptocurrencies belonging to consumers.

Before being extradited to Turkey in April 2023 on allegations of fraud and money laundering, the fugitive founder was apprehended in Albania in August 2022 while serving a prison sentence. Interestingly Zer was already in jail since July for failing to turn in tax records, but his most recent conviction was for deceiving clients.

The cryptocurrency exchange’s founder while defending himself in court argued that he and his family are the victims of injustice. He said that Thodex was just a failed cryptocurrency firm with no bad motives.

Five of the 21 defendants in the protracted case against the cryptocurrency exchange Thodex actually showed up in person for the court session. Due to a lack of evidence, the court exonerated 16 defendants of “qualified fraud” and ordered the release of four others. Based on their participation in the scam, the other defendants in the case were given sentences of various severity.