A Turkish prosecutor sought prison terms of up to 40,564 years for 21 executives of the Istanbul-based Thodex cryptocurrency exchange, which was shut down and its CEO vanished approximately a year ago.
Faruk Fatih Ozer, 28, was seen on a surveillance film at Istanbul’s airport in April. Turkish police have been unable to find him, despite the fact that he is sought on a red notice, according to Interpol.
According to News, the indictment charges the defendants with organizing a criminal enterprise, fraud, and money laundering.
Thodex was part of a Turkish cryptocurrency bubble that drew investors looking to hedge against inflation and a depreciating currency.
The indictment said that the exchange’s overall losses were around $24 million, although a February investigation by Chainalysis put losses at $2.6 billion.
Ozer said in an April statement from an undisclosed location that he will reimburse investors and return to Turkey, the newspaper stated.
Turkish police arrested 62 persons during the first probe last year, The Block reported at the time. According to Turkish authorities, Ozer escaped to Tirana, Albania.