Thodex CEO gets 7 months in jail for tax evasion

The founder of now-defunct digital asset exchange Thoder Faruk Fatih Özer was sentenced to seven months of imprisonment by a local court in Turkey for allegedly failing to submit tax documents.

Launched in 2017, Thodex was rolled out to cash in on rising interest in digital assets in Turkey. The exchange was later rebranded as Thodex and the exchange ramped up its operations before collapsing in 2022. Before its collapse, Thodex’s popularity grew by leaps and bounds until it abruptly halted its services in 2021. 

What followed was a wild goose chase as Özer fled to Albania but was arrested last year and later extradited. Apart from tax evasion, he has been charged with fraud. According to reports, Özer will be behind bars for seven months and 15 days after he reportedly failed to submit his tax documents. The documents were sought by the Turkish Tax Inspection Board.

The local court announced the prison sentence after a trial at the Anatolian 17th Criminal Court of First Instance. Throughout the trial, Özer has maintained his innocence and claimed that he couldn’t access the documents as Thidex was already under a trustee.

The court had initially announced a prison term of a year and six months but reduced the sentence in the wake of Özer’s cooperation during the trial. However, the 27-year-old CEO’s troubles are unlikely to end any time soon as he faces another trial over the fraud charges leveled against him. The verdict in the trial is still awaited.

The news of Özer’s imprisonment was all over the cryptocurrency news in India and also impacted live cryptocurrency prices. Following the news, analysts are even keenly watching the Top ten cryptocurrencies.

Accused of duping over 400,000 Thodex investors

In the second trial, he has been accused of “duping” more than 400,000 investors of Thodex of around $2 billion. In this case, too, Özer has maintained that he is innocent and has alleged that he is being framed.

During the recent hearings in connection with the fraud charges against Özer, prosecutors had demanded a sentence ranging up to 40,400 years – making it the longest sentence awarded to an accused in a financial crime in Turkey.

The prosecutors accused Özer of setting up an organization for allegedly “committing a crime” and fraud by using bank and credit institutions and information systems as “tools”. They also alleged that the Thodex top boss also laundered assets owned by managers hired by the company.

Reports of the action against Thodex CEO have put the spotlight on cryptocurrency tax in India and the need for more regulatory clarity. Experts believe that while crypto exchanges are useful in guiding people about how to invest in cryptocurrency in India, there should be some checks and balances to curb fraud.

Disclaimer: This article was created for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. An asset’s past performance does not predict its future returns. Before making an investment, please conduct your own research, as digital assets like cryptocurrencies are highly risky and volatile financial instruments.

Author: Puskar Pande

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