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Mt Gox CEO goes on trial in Japan as bitcoin gains traction

OKYO — A Tokyo court has begun hearings into charges that the head of the failed Japan-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox accessed its computer system and inflated his account by $1 million.

French-born Mark Karpeles was whisked into the Tokyo District Court early Tuesday after arriving in a white car.

Karpeles was arrested in August 2015 and released on bail last year. He has denied wrongdoing. If found guilty, he could face up to five years in prison, or a fine of up to 500,000 yen ($4,000).

When Mt. Gox went offline in 2014, Karpeles said tens of thousands of bitcoins worth several hundred million dollars were unaccounted for.

People affected by Mt. Gox’s failure are still trying to obtain funds they lost and are hoping the trial will explain what happened.

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