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Mark Karpeles Buying Prostitutes Is No Big Deal

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:45 PM
Justin OConnell
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:45 PM

Mark Karpeles faced fresh embezzlement charges Wednesday as Japanese media claimed some of Mt Gox’s stolen funds were spent on prostitutes. But, who cares? Is there anything all that unique about a successful man spending some of that hard-earned money (or in this case hard-stolen) on a good bang? Research shows the answer is ‘not really.’ 

First, the charges.

Tokyo police arrested France-born Mark Karpeles for moving 20 million yen ($166,000) in client money to his own bank account amid fraud allegations regarding the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin. According to Yomiuri, a Japanese newspaper, Karpeles spent an unknown amount of funds on prostitutes, with Jiji Press news agency claiming the incidences involved “several women whom he met at venues that offer sexual services.”

Read More: Of Cats, Temporarily Unavailable Bitcoins & Double Lattes With Whipped Cream

First arrested in August over allegations he fraudulently changed data and transferred funds to other firms controlled by him, Karpeles was later re-arrested for allegedly stealing 321 million yen worth of Bitcoin deposits at Mt Gox.

The recent arrest means authorities can hold Karpeles for another few weeks. The Tokyo-based Mt Gox closed down last year after losing approximately $400 million in Bitcoin.


Now, what you came here for: the sex.

In 2011, a Newsweek  article titled “The John Next Door” stated that up to 80 percent of men had at least once paid for sex. This article used outdated data that comes in a bit high according to more recent studies. According to procon.org , 37% of men have slept with prostitutes. As Robert T Francoeur, PhD, writes:

“It is still quietly accepted and understood that a Japanese husband may join business associates or friends for a visit to a ‘Soapland’ red-light district…The old-style, leisurely coital sex play with geishas and Soap Ladies, however, is declining in favor of quick, cheaper (and hence, more frequently affordable) masturbation, oral sex, and voyeurism… One factor in this shift is the high-pressure life and lack of leisure in the male business world; most white-collar workers (salarymen) do not have a lot of leisure time or spare money to spend on the traditional commercial sex.”

In Karpeles’ home country, France, 16% of men have admitted to sleeping with a prostitute. In the US, 15-20% of men have paid for sex. Regarding prostitution in France, Gill Attwood said:

“[There is] a reported move by middle-class men away from street prostitution to more discreet forms where the client is better protected from any problems with the law and is more anonymous. The first major academic study of clients… found that street prostitution is still the most popular form, particularly for clients with less money…”

Studies show that there is no particular type of male client. However, oftentimes, they make more money than those groups of men who do not buy sex. Some of these men are bored; some like the thrill of seeing if they can get away with it.  All are probably a little bit horny. 

In a paper published in the Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology on March 22 ,  the author’s state “for occasional customers, prostitution use may be more a product of situation and availability than a product of basic personality features or psychological characteristics.”

That Karpeles purchased prostitutes is nothing to lose your shit about. After all, it is not as uncommon as you might think for a successful man to purchase sex. How Karpeles bought the sex,  with stolen funds, however,  might rustle your jimmies.

Image from Shutterstock.