Citing a report in Japanese media, AFP said Japanese police will re-arrest Mark Karpeles, the CEO of the now-defunct Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange, on theft allegations as he faces questions over the disappearance of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of Bitcoin.
Police arrested Karpeles in Tokyo on August 1 over allegations he had manipulated data to artificially create approximately $1 million worth of Bitcoin.
As allowed under Japanese law, Karpeles has been held in custody without official charges for three weeks, but according to the Yomiuri newspaper, police intended to issue a new arrest warrant that claims Karpeles pocketed $2.6 million in Bitcoin.
AFP said that according to the Yomiuri article, which cited investigators, Karpeles spent most of that money on purchasing software rights, but also splurged on a $48,000 luxury bed.
Japanese police are allowed to interrogate a suspect for up to 20 days following the individual’s arrest, but with Karpeles’ time in custody slated to end this week, a new arrest warrant would reset the time on how long authorities can hold him.
Karpeles was initially taken into custody over accusations that he manipulated data and transferred funds to other companies he controlled dozens of instances between 2011 and 2013.
But, as AFP said, police are also reportedly looking into questioning Karpeles about the disappearance of 850,000 Bitcoins last year, which were valued at around $480 million at the time the coins went missing, and $387 million at current exchange rates.
After the exchange filed for bankruptcy protection last year following the disappearance of the Bitcoin, which the company blamed on software bugs and hackers, Karpeles said he found some 200,000 of the lost coins in offsite storage, known as a “cold wallet.”