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Crypto Exchange Thodex Founder Denies Fraud Charges in Turkey

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Crypto Exchange Thodex Founder Denies Fraud Charges in Turkey

The founder of failed cryptocurrency exchange Thodex has denied all fraud-related allegations in a Turkish court. The crypto entrepreneur was handed over to Turkey by Albanian authorities earlier this year to face charges for his leading role in running the now defunct platform.

Alleged Crypto Fraudster Faruk Ozer Claims He Was Framed in Thodex Case

Faruk Fatih Ozer, founder and chief executive of the Turkish crypto exchange Thodex, has denied defrauding investors on the trading platform, local media reported. On June 12, he made his first court appearance in his home country after his extradition from Albania in April.

Thodex collapsed in 2021 after attracting 400,000 users and Ozer fled Turkey with a reported $2 billion of investor money. He was wanted on an Interpol red notice until his arrest by Albanian law enforcement authorities on Aug. 30, 2022.

During the hearing on Monday, part of a trial against 21 people charged in connection with the exchange, Ozer claimed that he was framed, rejecting all allegations of fraud against him. Seven of the other defendants are also in detention, the Hurriyet Daily News noted in a report.

“Our initial purpose was to engage in e-commerce. As I dealt with e-commerce, cryptocurrencies caught my attention,” the businessman explained. “Later, I realized I could profit from it through my social circle, so I shifted the company in that direction … My entire life became intertwined with the digital world in order to establish a cryptocurrency exchange,” he was quoted as saying.

Ozer insisted more than once that all decisions made in the company were his own, pointing out that his sister, Serap Ozer, who was on the exchange’s management team, had no real authority. He was also the only person who checked all bank transactions made by the exchange.

“It is a black mark on the legal system that my employees have been imprisoned for two years,” Faruk Ozer stated in the court room. According to the indictment filed by the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul, they have been charged with establishing a criminal organization, committing fraud and money laundering. Prosecutors seek a maximum of 40,564 years of imprisonment in total for them for these crimes.

Do you think Thodex founder Faruk Ozer will be convicted on the fraud charges? Tell us in the comments section below.

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