Mark Karples the chief executive officer of Mt. Gox has been arrested by the Japanese police last Friday on suspicion of stealing $1 million from the online platform.
Mt. Gox, Tokyo- based exchange platform was once known as the largest platform in the world for the virtual currency by trading volume.
On February 2014, it filed for bankruptcy, by stating that it has lost 750,000 of its customers’ bitcoins as well as 100,000 of its own, worth some $500 million at the time. Later on it was discovered that it was actually 200,000 bitcoins.
Police stated that the investigators suspected that Karpeles knew about the missing bitcoins which were transferred to an account which was controlled by him without notifying the depositors.
The police suspected that Karpeles regularly transferred the clients’ bitcoins into his own account for unsubstantiated trading.
On a press conference on February 2014, Mark Karpeles gave a public apology by stating, “First of all, I’m very sorry. The bitcoin industry is healthy and it is growing. It will continue, and reducing the impact [of Mt. Gox’s collapse] is the most important point.”
The lawyers at the international law firm that represented Karpeles did not comment on the matter.
Even though Karpeles was not formally charged, the Japanese authorities can still hold suspects for several weeks before coming to a decision that whether to bring any charges.
Mark Karpeles was born in Chenove, France in 1985, the child of Anne Karpeles, a geologist. He worked as a software developer and network administrator at Linux Cyberjoueurs from 2003 to 2005 and later founded Tibanne Co. Ltd in 2009.
In 2011, Karpeles acquired 88 per cent of Mt. Gox from the programmer, Jed McCaleb.
WizSec, a Tokyo- based security has been carrying out an unofficial investigation into Mt. Gox’s collapse which was based in the information from various hacks, leaks and other sources.
According to the report by WizSec, the team at the security firm has managed to gather a list if more than 2 million bitcoin address which is connected to Mt. Gox by comparing the leaked information that they have acquired with blockchain records and by conducting clustering analysis on address used at the time.
Even though Mark Karpeles was immediately available for comments, but he stated in instant messages to The Wall Street Journal that the allegations were “false” and that he would “of course deny” them.