Business

Steve Kaaru

Former Mt. Gox CEO appeals conviction for data manipulation

It’s the one story that never seems to come to an end. Mt. Gox has been grabbing headlines ever since its infamous hack. This time, former CEO Mark Karpeles is appealing his conviction by a Tokyo District Court.

Earlier this month, the court cleared Karpeles of some of the charges he faced. They included embezzlement and breach of trust. The court handed him a suspended sentence, meaning he didn’t have to serve time in jail.

However, the court found him guilty of charges relating to data manipulation. Karpeles had manipulated Mt. Gox data with the intention of harming his clients, the court determined. In doing so, he had breached their trust and abused his engineering skills. For these crimes, the prosecutors called for a 10-year prison sentence.

Karpeles will appeal this conviction, a report by the Associated Press has revealed. Speaking to AP in an email, he said he had decided to appeal because the judge “had not fully looked at the defense arguments.”

Part of his email read:

“During the opening of my trial in 2017, I swore to God that I am innocent of all charges. I believe appealing to the judgment is appropriate so that I can be judged again in full consideration of all the facts.”

Karpeles’ lawyer, Nobuyasu Ogata further defended his client, saying that he was the real victim. What Karpeles did on the aftermath of the hack was completely justified, Ogata stated. “We cannot think of such actions as illegitimate.”

At the time of his arrest in 2015, cryptos were still a relatively nascent concept. Not many were conversant with the technology, and Karpeles was just playing his part in spreading the crypto gospel, Ogata argued. As such, he couldn’t have anticipated the hack and acted as he saw fit at the time. Moreover, the authorities didn’t have the slightest knowledge of the industry either. Therefore, they were just happy to put all the blame on Karpeles, Ogata continued. With this in mind, Karpeles is the real victim.

Earlier last month, Karpeles failed in his attempt to have a case against him in a U.S court stayed. He had claimed that the court should await the ruling of the Tokyo case, claiming that he could compensate the victims fully after the completion of the case.

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