The Tokyo Metropolitan Police is reportedly pursuing criminal charges against Mark Karpeles, CEO of the now-defunct, Japan-based bitcoin exchange Mt Gox.
Domestic news service Nikkei reported on 31st July that, according to an official with the city’s police force, Karpeles is being investigated for allegedly using dummy exchange accounts with fictitious bitcoin balances to meet customer orders.
According to a rough translation of the Nikkei report, speculation is now rising that some of the 650,000 BTC reported stolen last year could have been fraudulently accounted for on the exchange. This suggests some users may have never owned bitcoin lost in Mt Gox’s collapse.
Police also suspect that Karpeles may have misappropriated actual bitcoins deposited by users, allegations that could lead to embezzlement charges. Local authorities formally opened their investigation into Mt Gox last year.
A representative from US law firm Baker & Mackenzie, which had previously represented the embattled exchange, told CoinDesk it is no longer representing the company.
This article has been updated.
- ^ Nikkei (www.nikkei.com)
- ^ rough translation (pastebin.com)
- ^ 650,000 BTC (www.coindesk.com)
- ^ Mt Gox’s collapse (www.coindesk.com)
- ^ A report (www.coindesk.com)
- ^ last year (www.coindesk.com)
- ^ bankruptcy claims (www.coindesk.com)
- ^ seek bankruptcy protection (www.coindesk.com)
- ^ Mark Karpeles (www.coindesk.com)
- ^ Mt Gox (www.coindesk.com)