In 2010, French National Mark Robert Karpeles was charged by French courts for fraudulent accessing and changing data in an automated processing system. The issue was raised by Karpeles’ former employer Stephane Portha, CEO of small French gaming studio Eurocenter. Portha accused him of stealing customers user names, passwords, and a domain name, along with other grievances. Karpeles was sentenced to one year in prison and fined the equivalent of $60,000 USD.
Karpeles was not present for the sentencing and did not serve his year in jail. He was in Japan developing MtGox, which would become the biggest exchange of its time. According to French Courts, the sentencing deemed Karpeles a delinquent offender and not a criminal. The term criminal in the French legal system is reserved for crimes of further severity.
The exchange he was working on came from humble beginnings, it was a trading platform for playing cards used in the popular game Magic: The Gathering. The exchange was never built for Bitcoin trading, but by 2013 was handling 70% of all Bitcoin transactions. The success was short lived and in February 2014 the company behind the exchange filed for minji saisei ho, an insolvency procedure which was introduced to Japan in 1999. As a form of bankruptcy, minji saisei ho protects the company from creditors, allowing liquidators to sell any assets.
In April 2014, Mt Gox began liquidation proceedings and announced that approximately 850,000 bitcoins were missing, and possibly stolen. 200,000 bitcoins were later found, but it is still unclear as to how they went missing and Karpeles has kept a low profile ever since, unwilling to explain.
Investigations into the funds that disappeared from MtGox have been ongoing. An alternative Bitcoin exchange Kraken, which is purpose built for the digital
Originally appeared at: http://bravenewcoin.com/news/karpeles-arrested-not-for-missing-millions/