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Tech Resilience: Karpelès’ Journey from ‘Simple Calculator’ to Exoneration Amidst Legal Battles

Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpelès has shown little sympathy for the plight of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who has been seeking release from prison to prepare for his upcoming trial, citing issues with poor internet access.

Karpelès, who faced legal troubles, took to X (formerly known as Twitter) on September 13 to express his views. He reminisced about his arrest in 2015 and the stark contrast in the technological tools available during his legal ordeal. “When I was arrested in 2015, the most computing power I got was a simple calculator (+-*/√),” Karpelès wrote.

Karpelès faced allegations of misappropriating nearly $3 million of Mt. Gox customer funds during his legal battles. He eventually secured his release on bail and was later cleared of all embezzlement and breach of trust charges. Reflecting on his time in pre-trial detention, Karpelès mentioned that he spent over 11 months without access to evidence, which made his situation even more challenging.

To cope with these limitations, Karpelès ingeniously created an index of the evidence using folders and stickers, compacting it into an eight-page file. Initially, he considered using an abacus, an ancient counting tool, as it was the only item listed that could assist with calculations. However, a correctional officer advised him to buy a calculator, which cost him approximately $120 and proved to be a valuable tool during his legal battle.

Karpelès attributed his eventual exoneration to his legal team’s efforts and, notably, the “little calculator” that aided him throughout the process.

Karpelès’ remarks come in the wake of Bankman-Fried’s lawyers filing a request for his release from prison, citing poor internet access as a hindrance to his trial preparations. However, District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan denied the request on September 12, deeming insufficient internet access an inadequate ground for release.

Bankman-Fried currently faces 12 criminal charges, with two trials scheduled for October 2, 2023, and March 11, 2024. He has maintained his innocence, pleading not guilty to all counts. In a world where access to technology can significantly impact legal proceedings, Karpelès’ story serves as a reminder of the resourcefulness and resilience individuals may need to muster in the face of adversity within the justice system.


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