Turkish cryptocurrency platform Thodex was shut down last year and its CEO runway with almost $27 million in assets of 390,000 active users. He failed to transfer his shares to another investor which made the funds ‘irretrievable,’ as per Bloomberg.
The cryptocurrency platform rose to fame when crypto was one of its many peaks of popularity in 2020 when the pandemic hit and many investors were looking for safe havens amid concerns for hyperinflation around the Turkish Lira. The currency is very unstable in the foreign exchange market.
Bedirhan Oguz Basibuyuk, the lawyer representing Thodex said that the CEO fled Turkey because if he would have lived here he would commit suicide or been arrested by the authorities. The lawyer further said that there was a ‘liquidity’ problem with the exchange and that there was a decline in the company’s assets.
When too many users demanded their money back, the company was unable to meet those.
The CEO was last seen at the Istanbul airport in April 2021. He has been to four countries, including Albania according to Turkish authorities. Interpol has also issued a red notice against him, which is a request to all law agencies globally to find and arrest a person pending extradition.
Now, the Turkish prosecutors have demanded a jail sentence of 40,564 years for each of the 21 officials involved in the Thodex fraud. The shareholders have been charged with fraud, money laundering, and creating a criminal organization as per Demiroren News Agency, a local publication.
If the plea by the prosecutors is accepted by the court—the 21 accused will be behind bars for the rest of their lives. As per Chainalysis data, the losses could mount up to $2.6 billion instead of the claimed $24 million.