Mark Karpeles, the former boss of Mt gox, was informed today that if he wants to avail of bankruptcy protection, he must travel to Dallas and take part in his formal deposition. Karpeles, who is French born and lives in Tokyo, had hoped that his suggestion of a video-linked deposition would be acceptable, enabling him to get an extension of his bankruptcy protection in the US. Judge Stacey Jernigan, has stated, as reported by Reuters, that this would not be acceptable to the court. Reuters today reported the Judge as saying:
“If he avails himself of this court, my God, he is going to get himself over here”
Judge Jernigan, a US bankruptcy judge has ordered Karpeles to appear in Dallas on April 17th at the offices of Baker and McKenzie, Mt gox’s US law firm. The case is listed as: Re: Mt Gox Co. Ltd, US Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Dallas, No. 14-3122, as reported on Coindesk.
Mt gox filed for bankruptcy last month in Tokyo. Last month the Dallas bankruptcy court was asked to grant Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection. It is believed that this is in order to stall a class action that had been filed by US investors last month in a Chicago Federal court. Many of the employees of Mt gox have stated that they had no access to the exchange’s wallets and that access was only held by Karpeles. Many are suspicious that Karpeles may well have sought to divert some of the missing bitcoins to other wallets, wallets that he is suspected of being the beneficial owner.
Karpeles has shown a curious reluctance to answer questions in the US, as well as a certain vagueness regarding answering questions from Tokyo. It would appear that Judge Jernigan has become frustrated by Mr. Karpeles as, when Karpeles Lawyers suggested that Karpeles might be replaced as ‘Foreign Representative’ in any case before the Us courts, she stated: “He filed the case!” Karpeles’ business Mt Gox went belly up earlier this year and suspected losses are somewhere between 550,000 and 850,000 bitcoins. I am not giving a more accurate figure as it is my belief that there may well be many birds to come home to roost.
Former clients of Mt gox, in the US, lodged a class action lawsuit in February, in Chicago, and Karpeles succeeded in getting the bankruptcy protection afforded in Japan to extend to the US in order to prevent the stripping of US assets. It is now uncertain whether Karpeles intends to travel to the US or to allow his American bankruptcy protection to lapse. He does not appear to be a man that takes pleasure in answering questions, particularly about large quantities of bitcoins that went missing at Mt gox on his watch. Perhaps we may well be at a point in time where we will be given some direct answers. I doubt this however. It is my belief that any hope of straight answers would be an example of the triumph of hope over experience. I will await to be surprised.