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Print 22 comment(s) - last by Donovan.. on Mar 24 at 11:30 AM

They were in an "old-format wallet"

Mt. Gox has managed to locate about 200,000 of the missing Bitcoins it thought were stolen, which are worth about $120 million USD. 
 
Mt. Gox, which is a Bitcoin exchange service, said it lost about 750,000 of its customers' Bitcoins last month as well as 100,000 of its own. This totals to about $450 million USD. 
 
Since that incident, plaintiffs have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company. Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy after the incident as well. 
 
Mt. Gox and its CEO Mark Karpeles are not allowed to move any money outside of the United States and the company needs to provide full accounting of any assets it has left.


A CBC News report said Mt. Gox found 200,000 of the 850,000 missing Bitcoins -- which it assumed were stolen -- in an "old-format wallet," which is a digital storage file that was searched after the bankruptcy proceedings. 
 
Mt. Gox said it told the bankruptcy court about the coins on March 10, and that it moved them to an offline site from March 14 to March 15.
 
Bitcoins can be stored online or offline, in "hot" or "cold" wallets respectively. "Hot" wallets are accessed through a computer network while "cold" wallets can be USB sticks or even a piece of paper. 
 
Now, the search is on for the remaining 650,000 Bitcoins. 

Source: CBC News



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Who do you owe your taxes to?
By drycrust3 on 3/21/2014 6:13:30 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Mt. Gox and its CEO Mark Karpeles are not allowed to move any money outside of the United States and the company needs to provide full accounting of any assets it has left.

I thought Bitcoins weren't a legal currency, I thought Karpeles was a French citizen who lived in Japan, I thought Mt Gox was based in Japan.
I'm sure someone will tell me I am wrong, but as far as I can tell Karpeles has no legal accountability in the USA. Did Mt Gox pay taxes in the USA? If they didn't, and Karpeles didn't, then that should tell you how much legal liability they have in the USA.




RE: Who do you owe your taxes to?
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/21/2014 6:46:26 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I thought Bitcoins weren't a legal currency, I thought Karpeles was a French citizen who lived in Japan, I thought Mt Gox was based in Japan.
I'm sure someone will tell me I am wrong, but as far as I can tell Karpeles has no legal accountability in the USA. Did Mt Gox pay taxes in the USA? If they didn't, and Karpeles didn't, then that should tell you how much legal liability they have in the USA.
Not true.

He was a French citizen living in Japan, doing business in the U.S. He absolutely is bound by U.S. laws as far as his business done here.

As for those overseas, if investors sue him there, depending on what our courts think, they can certainly seize his assets stored here, if they are determined stolen.

You clearly haven't taken a contract law course or been bored to death (but educated) by someone who has...

If you give someone money or goods with the promise that it will be returned to you later, you do have the right to sue them and collect absolutely.

Watch Judge Judy for the small claims example if you don't believe me.

I can't just build up a massive Ponzi scheme and then flee with everyone's money to Germany, then wire the money to Japan, especially not if I then brazenly operate in plain view, and am targeted by international court actions. There's absolutely mechanisms to fix these things.

Bitcoins or not, you can't just steal stuff from people who you don't have a binding contract with or society as we know it would collapse.


RE: Who do you owe your taxes to?
By dgingerich on 3/21/2014 7:03:29 PM , Rating: 2
The funny thing about all this is that Bitcoins aren't considered currency by the US or Japan. They are considered a "speculative investment." They are also pretty much untraceable, just like cash. So, a flash drive with Bitcoins on it wouldn't have to be declared while exiting the country.

So, after all the bankruptcy proceedings, if he "finds" those Bitcoins after moving to somewhere without an extradition treaty, he'd have a ton of Bitcoins to cash in and nobody would ever even know it.

How much you wanna bet he's got some flash drive stashed somewhere with all those Bitcoins?


RE: Who do you owe your taxes to?
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/21/2014 7:24:12 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The funny thing about all this is that Bitcoins aren't considered currency by the US or Japan. They are considered a "speculative investment." They are also pretty much untraceable, just like cash. So, a flash drive with Bitcoins on it wouldn't have to be declared while exiting the country.

So, after all the bankruptcy proceedings, if he "finds" those Bitcoins after moving to somewhere without an extradition treaty, he'd have a ton of Bitcoins to cash in and nobody would ever even know it.

How much you wanna bet he's got some flash drive stashed somewhere with all those Bitcoins?
You're right to some extent, certainly.

If he can move the money out of the country to a location like Switzerland, yes he can steal everyone's money, in theory. That said, if he leaves any paper trail he could potentially be imprisoned on fraud charges in multiple jurisdictions, unless somehow some country grants him asylum and he manages to flee Japan.

It's really not that easy to steal a billion dollars worth of gold/diamonds/bitcoins/whatever commodity you want, and then get off scot free.

So in other words, he will need some impressive maneuvering to reach the outcome you suggest. There's only one person I know who could bury $400M USD worth of bitcoins.

Better call Saul!


RE: Who do you owe your taxes to?
By dgingerich on 3/22/2014 2:48:08 PM , Rating: 2
No, he won't.

1. At the moment, there isn't any evidence of wrongdoing by the CEO himself, so there will be no criminal charges. All he needs to do is let the bankruptcy proceedings go as they will. He just has to keep enough money to get out of Japan, and that won't be very hard. Bankruptcy laws as they are protect people from becoming completely broke. How much would he need to live on until the proceedings end and then catch a flight to Venezuela? $150k? That's be chump change for a bankruptcy like this. Donald Trump was left will tens of millions after declaring bankruptcy four times, and easily rebuilt his investment companies after every one. This guy will probably keep $2-3 million at the very least.

2. He doesn't have to move any money. As he leaves the country, he doesn't need to declare that he has any bitcoins. They're electronically stored information. In addition, the customs officials won't even know what to look for, so they certainly aren't going to find it. So he can easily get a cold wallet out of the country. Gold, diamonds, or any other physical commodity would be much harder. They're something customs inspectors can identify immediately. This isn't. All he has to get out of the country is a flash drive or smart phone, heck even a digital camera or old style Kindle would do, and they'll let that pass without any questions.

3. he won't need officially declared asylum anywhere, just a country that doesn't have an extradition treaty with Japan or the US, and there are plenty of those in South America, the Caribbean, or elsewhere. Venezuela would be an easy first step, and then on to Chile or Cuba. He could just go, sell the Bitcoins, and deposit the money in some Cayman islands account. He could live very comfortably off that for a lifetime and never have to work another day. The money would keep him from being extradited.


By JasonMick (blog) on 3/22/2014 11:30:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
1. At the moment, there isn't any evidence of wrongdoing by the CEO himself, so there will be no criminal charges.
HAHAHA ... really?
quote:
All he needs to do is let the bankruptcy proceedings go as they will. He just has to keep enough money to get out of Japan, and that won't be very hard.
Err, he's already been caught giving inaccurate information to the court once. They are going to be much warier now.
quote:
Donald Trump was left will tens of millions after declaring bankruptcy four times, and easily rebuilt his investment companies after every one. This guy will probably keep $2-3 million at the very least.
That's a rather different scenario. I'm not suggesting that Trump isn't a con artist himself. Many would suggest building massive developments on junk credit and then going bankrupt is abusive/exploitive. But remember, junk bonds are just that -- junk. They're expected to be a high risk investment, hence they carry much higher interest rates (reward). Sometimes it works out (e.g. at least for now, see Sprint).

By contrast Karpeles customers -- the dumb ones, at least -- had very little warning that he was likely never going to repay them.

And most importantly Trump likely couldn't have paid bondholders the money he owed them without liquidating, and likely then he wouldn't get a fair value on his properties, hence it was in everyone's best interests (for the most part) to restructure his debt.

This is a totally different scenario.

Here we're talking about someone -- who your own comment even seems to suggest -- just took everyone's money. If that's the case he has every means to pay them, he's just stealing the money and choosing not to. That kind of thing doth not a valid bankruptcy make.

So please don't draw such misleading comparisons.
quote:
2. He doesn't have to move any money. As he leaves the country, he doesn't need to declare that he has any bitcoins. They're electronically stored information. In addition, the customs officials won't even know what to look for, so they certainly aren't going to find it.
Given the amount of money being lost and his status, I'm guessing you're wrong. His electronics would likely be seized.

You're right, for certain he could transfer his wallet to a remote location, e.g. servers in France. But how is he going to cash out. His servers are going to be carefully scrutinized and you're forgetting that bitcoins ARE very traceable with enough effort.

If he's caught either destroying records or trying to transfer his customers' property overseas, he will likely face punishment. See: Enron
quote:
Gold, diamonds, or any other physical commodity would be much harder. They're something customs inspectors can identify immediately.
No, not necessarily. If they ban him from leaving the country with electronics, his hopes of smuggling out a usb are no better or worse than, say, smuggling diamonds. Smuggling a pocketful of diamonds sewn into your suitcoat might actually be easier.

Gold, would be harder as it'd set off the metal detector if you carried it through. But you could probably melt it down and fashion plastic objects e.g. razors etc.out of it and paint them silver, though and hope the agents are dumb enough not to notice the density difference/large metal signature @ the scanner.
quote:
he won't need officially declared asylum anywhere, just a country that doesn't have an extradition treaty with Japan or the US, and there are plenty of those in South America, the Caribbean, or elsewhere.
Depends. He pissed off at least one institutional investor and his affiliate banks as well. Depending on how much influence these people hold over the U.S. court system, they could put pressure on whatever nation harbors him to extradite him. Or they could hire Dog the Bounty Hunter to track his @$$ down.

He's a marked man if he flees, of that I'm sure.


By Reclaimer77 on 3/23/2014 9:54:21 AM , Rating: 2
Extradition treaty?

LOL! You think the Yakuza and whoever else he stole from gives a crap about extradition treaties?

He's a dead man.


RE: Who do you owe your taxes to?
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/21/2014 7:28:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Did Mt Gox pay taxes in the USA? If they didn't, and Karpeles didn't, then that should tell you how much legal liability they have in the USA.
Actually one step better he had to pay hundreds of thousands to become a federal licensed money trader in the U.S., which he did last year.

While that protects him from having his assets seized under federal law for operating an unlicensed exchange, yes, that very much subjects him to U.S. and international business laws.


By drycrust3 on 3/22/2014 2:49:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually one step better he had to pay hundreds of thousands to become a federal licensed money trader in the U.S., which he did last year.

How much money did your Department of Homeland Security seize in that process? Apparently they seized all the money in an account in a sub-subsidiary of Mt Gox called Dwolla, which was one of the steps between Mt Gox and the rest of the US banking system, in May last year. See:
Very sorry, URL isn't accepted. It was an ars technica article titled "Feds reveal the search warrant used to seize Mt. Gox account".
According to this report, Dwolla was a subsidiary of Mutum Sigillum, which was a subsidiary of Mt Gox. Mt Gox customers' money would be transfered via Wells Fargo from their Mt Gox account to Dwolla. According to the report Karpeles had made several false declarations in the Wells Fargo account opening account forms, such as that he wasn't involved in transferring money under customers instructions and that they didn't exchange money for customers, which the arrest warrant says wasn't true.


By Donovan on 3/24/2014 11:30:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I thought Bitcoins weren't a legal currency

I doubt he's allowed to move stocks and other investments either.

quote:
as far as I can tell Karpeles has no legal accountability in the USA

He filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S., so apparently he does. That would also be why he is subject to that court's orders.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997














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