MtGox’s chief executive continued to trade bitcoins for up to two weeks after filing bankruptcy, collecting almost $1 million in commissions, even though his customers were not able to cash out the bitcoins they were trading.
According to his deposition given on February 7th to a Texas bankruptcy court, MtGox CEO Mark Karpeles testified that all bitcoin withdrawals were halted by MtGox due to the theft or disappearance of hundreds of thousands of bitcoins owned by MtGox customers, as well as MtGox itself. On February 25th, Karpeles closed the site without warning and stopped all trading, claiming that the company had been hacked.
At that time, the exchange claimed that $465 million worth of bitcoins, which represents approximately 744,000 coins, had disappeared from MtGox. In addition to disclosing the loss of customers’ bitcoins, the company said it had lost approximately 100,000 of its own, or nearly $500 million.
MtGox is investigating criminal wrongdoing, and CEO Karpeles stated, “We will make all efforts to ensure that crimes are punished and damages are recovered.” Much has been said of the young CEO, and there has been speculation that the massive loss of assets resulted either from extreme ineptitude or outright fraud. According to new assertions by unidentified hackers, the heist never actually occurred and that Karpeles still controls nearly 1 million bitcoins, worth approximately $596 million at Monday’s exchange rate.