According to Japanese media reports, the prosecutors charged Mark Karpelès, the former head of the now defunct Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, with embezzlement. Indeed, it recently turned out that Karpelès is accused of embezzling ¥321m ($2.6m) from the worldwide known Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox. The service collapsed last year after revelations of a massive shortage in customer currency.
French-born Mark Karpelès, 30, is accused of transferring money from the bank account that belongs to the exchange to other accounts two years ago. The prosecutors point out that the funds from those other bank accounts was largely spent on buying licenses for 3D-rendering software. Besides, some media reports say that some of the money was also used on an “expensive custom-built bed”.
The Mt Gox founder was arrested last month in connection with the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency when the Bitcoin exchange collapsed in 2014. Back last year, a representative of the Tokyo police explained that Karpelès was suspected of accessing the Mt Gox’s virtual system in February 2013 and inflating his cash account by $1m.
In respond, Karpelès has denied all charges, claiming he was going to pay back the money. The same Japanese media reports said a few months ago that, contrary to reports from the cryptocurrency exchange, most of missing Bitcoins from the company’s stash were stolen by an insider. As for outside hacking attacks, which Mark Karpelès blames for the loss, they could have been responsible only for missing 7,000 Bitcoins, or as little as 1% of what Mt Gox’s managed to lose from the customer funds.