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Mark Karpeles arrested in Japan for “inflating assets” (wsj.com)
77 points by artursapek on Aug 1, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 36 comments

Conviction rate = #convicted / #prosecuted. Karpeles has been detained, but he hasn't been charged and is not on trial yet.

Indeed, he is about to be tortured into a confession and then subjected to endless human rights violations for which there is no recourse.


Japan also has a culture of guilty until proven innocent, which contributes to why the conviction rate is so high.

> Japan has a conviction rate that exceeds 99% (Note that it includes guilty plea cases.[1]), which has been attributed to low prosecutorial budgets impelling understaffed prosecutors to present judges with only the most obviously guilty defendants.[2]

I don't know if that's bad. Another way to look at the numbers: in Florida, with a 59% conviction rate, almost half the cases brought by prosecutors are a waste of everyone's time.

A few things go into this.

One is they get people to confess --the police can detain people and hold them for up to 23 days without charge [1]. Sometimes they make it difficult to meet with an attorney --attorneys are not allowed to be present during questioning.

Two, they tend to prosecute only the cases with "solid" evidence.

This can result in lots of "he died falling down the stairs" because investigators are unwilling to do the hard work finding the murderer(s) who beat someone with a bat, for example.


It's a mixed bag of good and bad. It's good because as you mentioned - wastes less money. It's bad because anyone brought forward is expected to be guilty (even if innocent) because otherwise they would not have been prosecuted to begin with, right?

If you're being prosecuted you're essentially assumed guilty in all but the most rare cases.

With a 59% conviction rate - it means more people are being assumed innocent until proven guilty, or that the evidence is too weak to prosecute on. If that means innocent people don't get unfairly imprisoned - that's a good thing.

I'd rather see 10 guilty people walk free than one innocent unfairly imprisoned.

With a 59% conviction rate - it means more people are being assumed innocent until proven guilty, or that the evidence is too weak to prosecute on. If that means innocent people don't get unfairly imprisoned - that's a good thing.

If you can afford bail, a 59% conviction rate means that you're less likely to be wrongfully imprisoned. But there are a lot of people who can't post bail and end up spending months or years behind bars only to be found not guilty -- or even to have all the charges against them dropped.

Even when 9/10 of the innocent people arrested and unfairly imprisoned are poor black kids, but 9/10 of the guilty people who walk free are rich white men?

Yes, but they don't just arrest everyone and let the courts figure it out. It's a much different political culture with regard to criminal justice.

Did they finally arrest him for implementing SSH in PHP?


PHP can do anything, what about some ssh?

Last time I already tried to prove PHP can do anything when it comes to network protocols by implementing a DNS server.

This time I’m doing it again with a server-side implementation of the SSH2 protocol.

You probably know SSH at least by its name. It’s a of secure telnet replacement which also allows many other things such as port forwarding, remote file management (with sftp) and more.

With PHP I could write a fully working SSH server in only 3 days. Of course I didn’t implement every single extension there is to SSH, but I’ve implemented: [...]


An interesting read for those who may have not seen it yet: "The Willy Report".[1] I would not be surprised at all if this was exactly what happened.

[1] https://willyreport.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/the-willy-repor...

I was going to post this... In order to understand the two big bitcoin bubbles you need to know all about "Willy the Bot"... Apparently Karpeles was operating a fractional reserve since the first breach, and he expected to return the btcs with time (selling high and buying low), but he was not able and all fell apart. Willy looks like an internal tool...

Also known as "stealing hundreds of millions of dollars"

This is interesting - "Mr. Karpelès hasn’t been formally charged. In Japan, suspects can be detained for up to 23 days without a formal charge or the possibility of bail."

SOP. That's the time it takes them to get a 'confession'.

To clarify: I personally know several people who have gone through the Japanese legal system and this is exactly what happens. The idea is that the suspect confesses and gets processed more easily. Remorse is a big thing in Japan. That also explains the 97% conviction rate. The other side of this is that there are far less arrests than you would expect, as the police and prosecutors want to keep the conviction ratio as high as possible and don't want to be distracted by the possibility that the accused may actually be innocent.

For those 23 days he'll be beaten half to death in order to extract a 'confession'.

The criminal justice system in Japan is a farce.

Is it Mark or Marc ? I thought he was French. I wonder if he may have been better off moving back to France, or some people may want to have a 'word' with him here too.

https://archive.is/S8SSb because paywall.

I am pretty sure it is Mark.

Also, you can google the title of the article in order to get past the paywall. This works for the NYT as well.

Opening it in Incognito mode also works.

For those catching up. I made this Mt Gox timeline: http://newslines.org/mt-gox/

According to Bloomberg [1] the police say Karpeles accessed a Bitcoin trading system on a U.S. server in February 2013 to record transfers totaling $1 million to an account he owned, although the amount may not have been actually transferred.

[1] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-01/former-mt-...

Wait, I assumed he was already in jail. Why wasn't he already in jail?

I think a more pertinent question is why the heck was he still hanging around in Japan?

Because up until now no "real evidence of wrongdoing" was found? There was some sort of catastrophic failure of the company and it was put into bankruptcy protection, but the reasons were still being investigated.

I mean, hypothetically, if the reason it went bankrupt was that all the dollars were stored in greek treasury bonds and greece defaulted, I think they would also have to close, but I don't know how you would translate that to criminal charges

There's a weird connection between Mark and an online game I used to play way back in the day (late 90s).



The game is still online: http://graalonline.com/

Who would have thought that the Magic: The Gathering Online Exchange was not a reliable place to keep your money?

If you had posted this during peak San Francisco work hours, you would have gotten 86 replies saying how "mtgox is not an acronym for anything, it's people like you who are ruining the world."

This, I think, is the "it's GNU/Linux, not Linux" for a new generation of pedants.

> This, I think, is the "it's GNU/Linux, not Linux" for a new generation of pedants.

Except that mtgox died an ignominious death rendering the question largely irrelevant, whereas Linux became the most popular OS kernel in the world in a different configuration from GNU/Linux, making the distinction somewhat important.

What's actually happening is what should happen - people go quiet and look at the walls, or out of the window, or check their watch, or overly carefully clear their throat, and shuffle their feet slightly, embarrassed that somebody's actually come out with this clichéd lead balloon without having realised beforehand that it will simply fall flat and make them look a bit of a dick. But maybe if it's ignored for long enough, everybody can pretend it just didn't happen, or, failing that, the ground will open up and consume everybody that witnessed it, much to their shared relief.

Nah, you've got the reason wrong. I've been making the joke for a while, as you say, and the reaction used to be exactly what jrockway said: a bunch of people being consumed with righteous rage that I could slander such an upstanding institution.

These days, they just awkwardly shuffle their feet and don't say anything, because it turns out we were totally right about the wisdom of trusting your money to the Magic: The Gathering Online Exchange.

If you want to inflate assets, you need to be a state-approved bank, then you can do the exact same thing unpunished ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractional-reserve_banking ). That's an important lesson to learn.

Yeah, and you can't arrest, try and convict people either. Or ratify treaties.

I'm really glad I didn't get investment from him.

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