The founder of Thodex, a sizeable Turkish cryptocurrency exchange service, who fled the country with $2 billion last year, has been arrested. He now faces some 40,564 years in jail.
Last year various cryptocurrency-related scams weighed in at $7.7 billion. Some of the scammers stole thousands; some ended up with millions. Still, perhaps the most notorious crypto scammer ever is supposedly Faruk Fatih Özer, the founder of Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Thodex. They allegedly fled the country in April 2021 with about $2 billion that belonged to around 400,000 Thodex clients.
Faruk Fatih Özer was recently arrested in Albania after Interpol issued an appropriate order. The local police found the former Thodex chief exec in Vlorë, Albania’s third most famous city, reports Decrypt. Co (opens in new tab). The identity of Özer was confirmed using biometric results.
While some Thodex employees were already detained in April 2021, the manhunt for Özer continued for over a year. As a result, he and other founders and executives of the ill-fated crypto exchange are now facing 40,564 years for each, Bloomberg (opens in new tab) reported earlier this year.
Before abandoning operations abruptly in the spring of 2021, Thodex had worked since 2017 and had about 700,000 clients in Turkey, where cryptocurrencies have been widely used to protect investments as the national currency lira has been in a secular decline for years. However, since almost everyone established a cryptocurrency exchange in Turkey, the government imposed considerably stricter rules in early 2021 to crack down on this industry.