Crypto boss denies fraud allegations

Crypto boss denies fraud allegations

Crypto boss denies fraud allegations

Faruk Fatih Özer, who has been accused of defrauding investors on his defunct cryptocurrency platform Thodex, has denied all allegations in his first court appearance in Türkiye on June 12.

The founder of Thodex, Özer, who was wanted on the Interpol red notice, was extradited to Türkiye after being apprehended in Albania on Aug. 30 last year. Özer was brought to Türkiye on April 20, and he was arrested three days later.

Özer made his first defense in Türkiye in the June 12 hearing of the trial of 21 defendants, seven of whom are in detention. Özer claimed he was framed, denying all the allegations made against him.

“Our initial purpose was to engage in e-commerce. As I dealt with e-commerce, cryptocurrencies caught my attention. Later, I realized I could profit from it through my social circle, so I shifted the company in that direction. I started mobile transactions with the software developers I added to my team. My entire life became intertwined with the digital world in order to establish a cryptocurrency exchange,” Özer said.

Özer reiterated multiple times during the hearing that all decisions made in the company belong to him, adding that his sister, Serap Özer, who was part of the management team, did not have de facto authority within the company.

“There is no other authorized person in the company besides me. Thodex’s transactions with banks were carried out automatically. I personally checked the transaction made on the company platform to the banks every week in the form of an Excel spreadsheet. I was the only one doing this to ensure there were no security holes.”

“It is a black mark on the legal system that my employees have been imprisoned for two years,” he added.

In the indictment prepared by Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, 21 defendants were charged with “establishing and managing an organization with the aim of committing a crime,” “fraud by using information systems as a tool,” and “money laundering by traders or company executives and cooperative managers resulting from a crime.”

The indictment seeks 12,164 to 40,564 years of imprisonment for the 21 defendants.