Faruk Fatih Ozer is a Turkish businessman who founded and served as the CEO of Thodex, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Istanbul, Turkey.
Thodex was one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Turkey, with over 700,000 users.
However, in April 2021, Thodex abruptly shut down its operations, and Ozer fled the country with an estimated $2 billion worth of cryptocurrency belonging to Thodex users.
Following his escape, Ozer was the subject of an international manhunt, and Turkish authorities issued an Interpol red notice for his arrest.
In May 2021, Ozer was detained in Albania at the request of Turkish authorities and was subsequently extradited to Turkey.
He was currently sentenced to 11,196 years in prison.
Who is Faruk Fatih Ozer?
Ozer was born in either 1993 or 1994, and has two brothers, Serap and Guven.
He dropped out of high school before founding the cryptocurrency exchange Thodex in Istanbul in 2017.
The crypto became one of Turkey’s biggest crypto exchanges, making Ozer an instant celebrity in Turkey.
He would be photographed associating with top politicians including Mevlut Cavusoglu and Suleyman Soylu.
Thodex collapsed in April 2021.
As a result, Ozer subsequently shut down his social media profiles and flew out to Albania on April 20, 2021.
— Cheeky Crypto (@CheekyCrypto) September 8, 2023
Turkish authorities launched an investigation into the company later, accusing it of defrauding 390,000 investors out of approximately $2 billion.
Ozer rejected the fraud allegation and said his company had temporarily closed its trading platform to investigate a cyber attack.
An Interpol international arrest warrant was issued for Ozer in April 2021, leading to his arrest in Albania on August, 30.
At an Istanbul court, on September 7, 2023, Ozer was fined $5 million and sentenced to 11,196 years in prison after being found guilty of various charges including fraud.
His brothers were among the 20 other accused, and were both issued with the same sentences.