Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles found guilty on only 1 count, given a suspended sentence

March 14, 2019, 9:49PM EDT

Mark Karpeles, the former CEO of the Mt. Gox cryptocurrency exchange, was given a sentence of two years and six months, suspended for four years after he was found guilty of tampering with records by Tokyo District Court. Karpeles was found not guilty on two charges, embezzlement and violation of company law. He was found guilty of a third count, record tampering, per the court: “The charge of electronic record tampering is true and deserves punishment, but there’s no criminal evidence of embezzlement.”

The prosecutors sought a 10-year sentence but according to The Wall Street Journal, if Karpeles "stays on good behavior over the next four years, he won’t have to serve time in prison."

Karpeles was not on trial for the actual disappearance of the $450 million in bitcoin from the exchange, which resulted in the bankruptcy of Mt. Gox in early 2014. The bankruptcy proceedings related to Mt. Gox are still ongoing as of March 2019.

Karpeles told The Block: "I am grateful to the court and happy to be judged not guilty for embezzlement and breach of trust." He added that he will discuss with his lawyers and decide how to proceed on the remaining charge.

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