Mt. Gox’s Mark Karpeles Spent Money On Prostitutes, Faces New Charges

October 28, 2015 09:31 UTC

New embezzlement charges have been filed against Mark Karpeles for moving $20 million worth of yen in client money to his bank account and spending an unspecified sum on prostitutes, reported Astro Awani in Malaysia. Karpeles already faces fraud charges for the disappearance of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of the virtual currency from Mt. Gox, the now defunct Tokyo-based exchange.

Citing Yomiuri, a Japanese newspaper, Astro Awani reported Karpeles spent an unspecified sum on prostitutes while the Jiji Press news agency in Japan said the charges involve “several women whom he met at venues that offer sexual services,” citing police sources.

Karpeles’ Third Arrest

Police arrested French-born Karpeles in August, charging him with manipulating data and transferring money to other companies between 2011 and 2014.

Authorities arrested him again for allegedly stealing 321 million yen worth of bitcoin. This arrest extended his incarceration. Authorities indicated the new arrest allows police to detain him for several more weeks, which will give them more time to question him about the demise of Mt. Gox.

Mt. Gox became defunct last year after close to $480 million – worth $387 million at current exchange rates – went missing.

Mt. Gox first said a software mishap enabled hackers to steal the bitcoin. Karpeles later said he found nearly 200,000 of the lost coins in a storage device.

Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy shortly after the bitcoin was reported missing.

Prior to his arrest in August, Karpeles denied any wrongdoing, according to Computerworld.

Also read: Does the Mt. Gox investigation actually matter?

A Long Fall From Prominence

When bitcoin’s price jumped from around $118 to close to $1,000 over a two-months, Mt. Gox was one of the world’s largest bitcoin exchanges.

Images from Shutterstock and Wikimedia.

Last modified: October 28, 2015 09:38 UTC

Lester Coleman is a media relations consultant for the payments and automated retailing industries.

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