Mark Karpeles must be one of the most talked-about people in the world of Bitcoin. Normally, one would be happy to be a trending topic but in Karpeles’ case, I highly doubt that’s the case. The Mt. Gox CEO is held responsible for all the bankruptcy of his exchange and has several lawsuits waiting. Today, news came out Karpeles is refusing to travel to the United States for questioning, after creditors of the failed exchange were trying to force him.
Gregory Greene and Joseph Lack asked a U.S. judge to order Karpeles to go to the U.S. for a deposition, according to a motion filed Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas division, which granted the exchange temporary protection from creditors.
The filing states that Karpeles has to testify in the U.S. in order to protect domestic creditors. As CEO, he was heavily involved with the management of Mt. Gox and he has extensive knowledge of its coding and operations.
Karpeles did not like this order. It’s clear he does not want to travel to the U.S., and he proposed to go to Taiwan instead. There, he would allow lawyers to question him in person or via video link. Obviously, Greene and Lack found this unacceptable, calling it “an unjustifiable misuse of judicial resources.”
To show how much the plaintiffs would like to see Karpeles board a plane to the States, they offered to pay all travel expenses. “He is someone who has availed himself of the protection of the United States courts and he wants all the advantages of a foreign representative who’s been forthright, transparent and open without being forthright, transparent or open,” Steven Woodrow, a Colorado-based lawyer for the plaintiffs, said.
“Most foreign representatives, from our research, who have availed themselves of the United States courts, are more than willing to come to the United States to justify the relief that they’re seeking,” Woodrow added. “For some reason, Mr. Karpeles seems averse to coming to the United States. His attorneys won’t tell us why.”
Greene and Lack are plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against Mt. Gox. This lawsuit accuses Japan-based Bitcoin exchange of massive fraud and theft of Bitcoin and currency worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Since the shutdown of Mt. Gox in February, the exchange has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and Texas. It became clear that Mt. Gox was missing 850,000 Bitcoins, supposedly due to a bug in their system called transaction malleability. Whether this is true or not, has been a topic of debate all over the internet. People doubt Karpeles is telling the real story behind the exchange’s failure. Especially since a few days ago, when Karpeles announced Mt. Gox suddenly found a lost wallet containing 200,000 Bitcoins.
On top of that, several sources are reporting that the whole transaction malleability story is ready to be debunked. CCN.com wrote an informative article on this just yesterday. The whole story is unfolding into a complete saga, where people won’t know who or what to believe anymore. As usual, we’ll have to wait a while before we get to see the truth behind this. Let’s just hope that day comes swiftly so we can move on past the remnants of this disaster. It has hurt Bitcoin long enough.