Runaway Turkish crypto CEO may face 40,000-year jail sentence

Runaway Turkish crypto CEO may face 40,000-year jail sentence
Representative imageBI India
  • Turkish lawyers are asking for 40,000-year jail sentences for each one of the 21 officials involved in the Thodex crypto exchange fraud case.
  • The crypto exchange shut down a year ago and its CEO has been on the run ever since, accused of making off with at least $24 million.
  • Thodex CEO, Faruk Fatih Ozer, and his accomplices have been charged with creating a criminal organisation, fraud and money laundering.
The founder of Turkish cryptocurrency platform Thodex, 28-year old Faruk Fatih Ozer, may face a 40,000-year jail sentence if he gets caught. Currently, Ozer is on the run after shutting down the cryptocurrency exchange and making off with $24 million from users last year.

He was last seen at the Istanbul airport in April 2021. Since then, the Turkish authorities have tracked him to four different countries, including Albania. However, they have been unable to locate him despite Interpol issuing a red notice — a request to law enforcement agencies worldwide to locate and arrest a person pending extradition — to his name.

The Turkish prosecutor in charge of the case has asked for jail sentences as long as 40,564 years for each of the 21 officials involved in the Thodex fraud. The stakeholders of Thodex have been charged with creating a criminal organisation, fraud and money laundering according to local publication Demiroren News Agency.

If the court backs the prosecutor's plea, Thodex team members will be behind bars for the rest of their remaining lives.

The runaway crypto exchange CEO

Thodex rose in popularity during the crypto hype of 2020 with investors looking for safe haven investments amidst inflation concerns around the national fiat currency, the Turkish Lira. The exchange, which had around 400,000 investors, went offline without any notice in April last year.


While the case against Thodex quotes a loss of $24 million, Chainalysis estimates actual losses to be around $2.6 billion — making it the biggest rug pull of 2021.

At the time of Ozer’s escape, his lawyer said that the CEO fled Turkey because he was afraid that he would either be arrested or commit suicide.

From today on, my sole aim is to repay my debt to you. The day I repay all my debt, I will return to my country and give myself in to justice.

Thodex founder and CEO, Faruk Faith Ozer, at the time of shutting down the crypto exchange

Thodex was reportedly facing a liquidity problem. With many people demanding their money back, there weren’t enough funds on hand to meet that requirement.

Serap Ozer, one of Faruk Ozer’s two brothers, told local Turkish media that his brother is planning to either find a partner or sell the company in order to pay investors back.

Warner Bros and DC are betting on Batman NFTs to deliver a $60 million profit
Indonesia plans to tax crypto from May – government to levy VAT and 0.1% tax on income from crypto trade