Mt. Gox

Mt. Gox63 posts

Mt. Gox was one of the first Bitcoin exchanges, a place where customers could convert their local currencies into the virtual currency. The site was located in Japan and run by Mark Karpeles, a young French programmer. As Bitcoin increased in value the site experienced technical difficulties, hacking and public relations crises, culminating in the exchanges’ bankruptcy in February 2014, and the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars of users’ funds.

31 Jul, 2015
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Arrested

Arrest

Karpeles is arrested at his home by Japanese police who say he accessed a computer system and falsified data on its outstanding balance. Police say Karpeles protested at his arrest and said he will not sign any documents until his lawyer arrives. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police say they believe Karpeles had manipulated transaction records on a computer system that Mt. Gox used to swap Bitcoins for dollars, and had “unjustly inflated the balance” of an account held under his name:

He created false information that $1 million had been transferred into the account, when in fact it had not been.

Karpeles has not been formally charged. Police can detain him for up to 23 days before charging him.

Arrestation de Mark Karpelès, fondateur de la plateforme d'échange de bitcoins Mt. Gox

Jan 2009
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Arrested on return to France

Arrest

Karpeles is arrested by BEFTI (Brigade Investigation of Fraud in Information Technology) after allegations that he stole his employers’ data.  He describes the BEFTI officers as “barbaric”, commenting that the arrest was “like no other”. After 13 hours in jail and a search of the servers, Palm Pilot, and other home computers, he was released after making a statement.

1993
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Convicted of computer fraud

Arrest
Note: Exact year is unknown.

According to Reuters, blog posts Karpeles wrote in 2006 say he was arrested twice in France before he was 21 for computer fraud-related charges. One resulted in a 3-month suspended sentence. French authorities in Tokyo said they have seen confirmation of one prior conviction, but do not have details.

Indeed, during my misspent youth, I made a huge, huge mistake. Enough silliness that I found myself locked into custody and brought temporarily placed in the “mousetrap” (souricière: possibly “n.f. (pol.): ‘Baited trap’ laid by the forces of law-and-order.”). This was followed by an investigation of more than a year, which eventually ended in a trial.

I will not give too much detail about what I did wrong, just say it concerns payment systems on the Internet. I spent two years taking risks becoming larger, perhaps because it was an exciting side … whatever, I ended up getting arrested (in rather bizarre circumstances, noting that when I was arrested, I was just in a police station to file a complaint for something else).

Karpeles then notes he had to undergo psychiatric review, and that it was the psychiatrist who gave him an interest in Japan.

Then I had the right to visits to a shrink. And it turned out, after much discussion, this psych was also interested in Japan (except that a psychologist there earns a rather good living, and they can go regularly) … And I had a agreement with the therapist. The agreement was rather simple. I had to do historical research in the history of Japan and write a report. Obviously it was not so complicated for me, but I could still see and more interesting things about some of the history of Japan.

In the end he stated in his report (which I have a copy) that I was not responsible for my actions, and that the abuse of cannabis was bad for my mental health. I was rather shocked (I never, oh, ever smoked substances “illegal”, I swear on it), then after thinking a lot, I finally concluded that it was can not be so bad as that. In the end, the trial was not concluded too bad for me (3 months suspended sentence disappearing after 5 years, and nothing in the criminal record).

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