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The Turkish Crypto Titan Faces Staggering Prison Sentence

The downfall of a crypto titan

Once a prominent figure in the Turkish cryptocurrency arena, Thodex abruptly ceased its operations in April 2021, leaving over 400,000 customers unable to access their deposits totaling a staggering $2 billion. This unexpected halt triggered a nationwide manhunt for Özer, who had sought refuge in Albania. His escape came to an end in August 2022 with his arrest facilitated by an Interpol red notice.

Fast forward to April 2023, Özer finds himself extradited to his homeland, facing a multitude of charges including fraud, money laundering, and establishing a criminal organization. This highly publicized case gained even more attention when it was revealed that the extensive investigation involved the arrest of at least 83 individuals, including Özer’s siblings and four high-ranking Thodex officials. The courtroom became a battleground, hosting a trial where 21 defendants faced the potential of a total of 40,564 years of imprisonment.

Repercussions and broader implications

The exposure of Thodex sent shockwaves throughout Turkey, a nation where cryptocurrencies had emerged as a defense against runaway inflation and the rapid devaluation of the Turkish lira. The recent verdict, delivered by the 9th Anatolian Heavy Penal Court, not only sees the Özer family facing monumental sentences but also the acquittal of 16 defendants, highlighting the complexity and depth of this unprecedented crypto affair.

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