Faruk Fatih ?zer, CEO of collapsed Turkish crypto exchange Thodex, was sentenced to 11,196 years in jail on Thursday.
Taking $2 billion from his customers saw the boss of one of Turkey’s largest crypto exchanges Thodex sentenced to 11,196 years, 10 months and 15 days in prison.
For comparison, the last ice age ended about 11,000 years ago.
Thodex was one of Turkey’s largest crypto exchanges before it suddenly went offline in April 2021 and ?zer went missing. More than 400,000 members were left without access to their money: a total of $2 billion in cryptocurrencies.
?zer was suspected of having fled Turkey and after Interpol issued a red notice for him, he was arrested in Albania last year.
The notice alleged ?zer acted with fraudulent intent from the beginning and that Thodex was a criminal organisation.
The collapse of Thodex sent shockwaves across Turkey, where crypto was widely used to protect savings from the sky-high inflation and the steep devaluation of the lira.
Delivering the verdict late on Thursday, the court in Istanbul sentenced ?zer on various charges including fraud, leading a criminal organisation and money laundering. His two siblings also received prison sentences.
A multi-millennia jail term may come as a surprise to some, but they are fairly commonplace in Turkey.
In 2016, Fethullah G?len, leader of a social and religious movement and adversary to President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, was sentenced to 1,900 years in prison for allegedly organising a failed coup.
Six years later, cult leader Adnan Oktar, who was convicted of a series of crimes, including sexual assault, got more than 8,600 years in prison.