Prosecutors have opted to not appeal against the acquittal of former Mt. Gox CEO, Mark Karpeles, on charges of customer embezzlement, reports Japanese daily The Mainichi, March 29, 2019.
Breathing Room for Mark Karpeles
Ex-Mt. Gox CEO, Mark Karpeles, is one of the most well-known figures in the cryptoverse, albeit for all the wrong reasons. The story of the rise and fall of Mark Karpeles in the crypto ecosystem is a textbook example of how quickly tides can turn for or against someone in this fast-paced industry.
On March 15, 2019, the Tokyo District Court sentenced Karpeles to 2.5 years of suspended imprisonment after it found him guilty for falsifying computer data in connection with the controversial hack of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox.
However, Karpeles was successful in dodging charges for customer embezzlement. At the time, the court said that Karpeles’ acquisition of a software development business was “reasonable” and the act of transferring money from Mt. Gox to his personal account was not ill-intentioned.
Now, prosecutors who were contemplating appealing against the acquittal of Karpeles for customer embezzlement have decided to not continue with it. This move would let stand the Tokyo District Court’s March 15 ruling of “not guilty” of embezzling customers in Karpeles’ favor.
Karpeles Going for the Double Kill
In another development pertaining to the same case, on March 29, 2019, the Washington Post reported that the former head of Japan-based Mt. Gox is set to appeal his conviction on charges of data manipulation.
As mentioned earlier, the Tokyo District Court handed 2.5 years of suspended imprisonment to Karpeles for willfully manipulating data “to harm his clients, betraying their trust and abusing his engineering skills.”
Now, Karpeles wants to challenge the court’s decision as he believes the judge had not fully looked at the defense arguments.
He told the Associated Press:
“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.”
With that said, it remains to be seen what the future holds for Mr. Karpeles. Whatever the decision, there’s not a shadow of a doubt that the Mt. Gox fiasco will serve as the North Star for countless cases of the same nature in the future.