Thodex CEO sentenced to Turkish prison for failure to submit tax documents

Three months after Faruk Fatih Özer — the founder and former CEO of Thodex — was detained in Türkiye, he received a prison sentence of seven months and 15 days for failing to submit documents requested during the trial.

Thodex was once one of the biggest crypto exchanges in Türkiye before it suddenly shut down and Özer fled to Albania. Following a Red Notice by Interpol, Özer was extradited back to Türkiye to be held responsible for the investors’ roughly $2 billion worth of cryptocurrencies.

While Özer maintained innocence throughout the trial since Oct. 30, 2021, he failed to submit the requested documents to the Tax Inspection Board. He denied being Thodex’s official at the time, which prevents him from presenting the requested books. He further claimed that a trustee had been appointed to run the business on his behalf during the said timeframe.

As reported by Hürriyet Daily News, Özer’s prosecutor initially sought a five-year prison sentence for “smuggling” under the Tax Procedure Law. The court initially sentenced the crypto entrepreneur to one year and six months of imprisonment, which was later reduced to seven months and 15 days. The reasons for the sentence reduction include Özer’s social relations, and overall behavior and conduct during the trial.

In addition to tax-related charges, Özer has also been accused of defrauding Thodex investors and awaits a hearing on the alleged accusations. The entrepreneur continues to deny the allegations, claiming that he has been framed by the defendants.

Related: Turkey to use blockchain-based digital identity for online public services

A recent study from Swedish crypto tax firm Divly shows that 99.5% of crypto investors did not pay taxes in 2022.

Crypto investors tax payment rate in 2022.&nbsp;<em>Source: Divly</em>

The report estimates that Finland has the highest proportion of crypto investors who paid the required taxes on crypto in 2022 at 4.09%, with Australia following closely behind with 3.65%.

However, the methodology used to arrive at the estimates remains questionable as the report notes that search volume data may not accurately reflect the actual number of crypto taxpayers, as not everyone who pays tax searches for crypto tax-related information online.