Mark Karpeles, the former chief executive officer of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt Gox, is reportedly planning to appeal the data manipulation conviction it recently received from a Japanese court.
As recently reported, the Tokyo District Court found Mark Karpeles guilty of charges relating to data manipulation and gave him a suspended sentence of two and a half years, while requiring him to maintain a clean record for four years to avoid jail.
Karpeles was notably not found guilty of charges of breach of trust and embezzlement, something his lawyer, Nobuyasu Ogata, welcomed. Ogata, however, defended Karpeles’ actions after Mt Gox was hacked for over 850,000 BTC at the time, claiming they were an effort to minimize damage.
Per his words, such actions can’t be seen as illegitimate, and authorities were confused as to how crypto exchanges worked and ended up blaming the cybercrime’s victim for Mt Gox’s demise.
Karpeles, a 33-year old Frenchman, was facing 10 years in prison before being found guilty of data manipulation, as prosecutors were looking for more. He was arrested in August of 2015, after Mt Gox collapsed in 2014. At the time, the exchange handled 70% of bitcoin’s total trading volume.
He reportedly decided to appeal as he believes the judge didn’t fully look at the defense’s arguments. Speaking to The Associated Press, he stated:
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.
Those who lust funds during the collapse of Mt Gox have last year seen a positive development, as the case was moved to civil rehabilitation, allowing creditors to be paid back in BTC instead of its fiat value at the time, of about $500.
Since the incident Japanese authorities have started dipping their toes in the cryptocurrency space. The country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has required crypto operators to register with it, and bitcoin has been a legal payment method in Japan since April of 2017.