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September 8, 2023

Friday funnies?: Turkish court imposes sentence of 11,196 years in prison!

I surmise that any number of things associated with cryptocurrencies, including lots of numbers, are unbelievable.  But this Bloomberg story, headlined "Boss of Failed Crypto Exchange Gets 11,000-Year Sentence," has a sentencing number I could hardly believe.  Here are the details:

Faruk Fatih Ozer, who ran crypto exchange Thodex until it imploded in 2021, was sentenced to 11,196 years in prison by a Turkish court for crimes including fraud. Delivering its verdict late Thursday, the court in Istanbul sentenced Ozer and his two siblings to similar-length jail terms, finding them guilty of aggravated fraud, leading a criminal organization and money laundering.

Ozer, a high-school dropout who founded Thodex in 2017 and fled to Albania after Thodex went bust, appeared unrepentant at his final hearing. “I am smart enough to lead any institution on Earth,” state-run Anadolu Agency cited Ozer as saying in court. “That is evident in this company I established at the age of 22. I wouldn’t have acted so amateurishly if this were a criminal organization.”

The total amount of losses investors suffered when Thodex collapsed remains unclear. The prosecutor’s indictment estimates them at 356 million liras ($13 million), but Turkish media have reported figures as high as $2 billion.

I know nothing about Turkish sentencing law and practice, but I do know anyone tempted to calculate average prison terms in that country is now going to come up with a very large number.

September 8, 2023 at 02:58 PM | Permalink


Press accounts indicate that he got off luck. Prosecutors had sought 40,000 years.

Posted by: Observer | Sep 8, 2023 9:14:30 PM

I am stating the obvious, but any sentence beyond about 80 years is academic, since it's a virtual life sentence anyway.

Posted by: Jim Gormley | Sep 8, 2023 11:36:01 PM

I'm thinking that those of the "Federalist/Bill Otis/Master Tarls" persuasion, will seek to advocate for adoption of Turkish sentencing guidelines here in the States.

Posted by: SG | Sep 9, 2023 7:23:46 PM

Not know whether the Turkish prison system includes something similar to parole, I know that one of the factors in long sentences here are the various state parole regimes. If, as a matter of state law, you have to do 20% of your sentence before becoming eligible for parole, a judge who does not think you should ever be released can eliminate that possibility by sentencing the offender to 300-350 years.

But even beyond that, there is something of hyperbole in making such a sentence -- proclaiming that the defendant's misconduct is so unacceptable that no realistic sentence is enough of a punishment and that, if the court had its way, the defendant would have to finish serving the sentence in his next several lifetimes to fully discharge the bad karma that he had created for himself (or in purgatory for those following the Christian belief in an afterlife).

Posted by: tmm | Sep 11, 2023 5:24:38 PM

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