Mt. Gox CEO faces fresh criminal allegations over Bitcoin theft


The CEO of once-dominant Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox is being pursued with a fresh criminal warrant over allegations of Bitcoin embezzlement.

Japanese police are set to re-arrest the former cryptocurrency mogul over accusations Karpeles pocketed $2.6 million in investor Bitcoin (BTC) deposits. As reported by the AFP, a local report from the Yomiuri newspaper said Karpeles will now face questions over the vanishing act performed by Bitcoin deposits worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

At the time of the disappearance the deposits were collectively worth roughly $480 million and roughly $387 million at the time of writing.

Citing investigators, the publication says most of the money allegedly embezzled was spent on software rights — but also included approximately $48,000 for a luxury bed.

In February last year, the Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange shut its doors without warning, leaving upwards of 850,000 BTC missing in action. Karpeles originally said a bug in Mt. Gox’s systems allowed cyberattackers to spirit away the funds, however, this explanation was not accepted without suspicion in the virtual currency community.

Karpeles later said 200,000 BTC had been “recovered” from an old-style cold wallet, and the existence of an inflation-boosting, bulk Bitcoin-buying bot, dubbed Willy, is yet to be explained.

As a result of the Bitcoin debacle, Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy in both Japan and the United States — and 30-year-old Karpeles was later placed under arrest in Japan. Last month, the former CEO was accused of falsifying financial records in Mt. Gox computer systems in order to inflate his own bank account by $1 million.

Karpeles was held in Tokyo for three weeks as investigators questioned him on tampering with Mt. Gox systems and accounts,

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