The former owner of the now-defunct Mt.Gox bitcoin exchange, Mark Karpeles, has been sentenced to two and half years in prison by a prosecutors in Japan. The Tokyo District Court found him guilty for falsifying computer data in connection with the colossal heist, an event that saw half a billion dollars worth of bitcoin disappear from the exchange in 2014, reports the Japan Times on March 15, 2019.
Mark Karpeles Acquitted of Embezzlement
The Tokyo District Court acquitted Mark Karpeles, 33, of embezzlement but has slapped a two and half years jail term on him for data manipulation and falsification in the prolonged Mt.Gox bitcoin exchange saga.
Interestingly the embattled founder of seminal bitcoin trading venue and exchange will not be jailed immediately, as the Tokyo District Court has reportedly suspended the sentence until 2023.
A Long Time Coming
Founded in 2010 in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan, Mt.Gox is one of the earliest bitcoin exchanges, handling more than 70 percent of the entire bitcoin transactions globally, as at 2013.
Mt. Gox suffered its first security breach in 2011 when a bad actor allegedly transferred a vast amount of the flagship digital asset to his account using the credentials stolen from the exchange’s auditor’s personal computer, forcing the price of bitcoin to crash from $17 to some cents.
Fast forward to 2014 and Mt. Gox experienced another deadly hack.
Touted as the greatest crypto exchange heist of all time at the time, the heist saw 850,000 bitcoins valued at nearly half a billion dollars then, mysteriously vanish from its cryptocurrency hot wallet.
Though Karpeles claimed to have found 200,000 bitcoins out of the missing cryptoassets, things still fell apart for the exchange.