U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stacey Jernigan on Tuesday ordered Karpeles to
appear on April 17 in Dallas at the offices of Baker & McKenzie, the
law firm that represents Mt. Gox.
Mt. Gox customers want its chief executive and majority owner, Mark
Karpeles, to explain why the exchange shut down in February and what
happened to their 750,000 bitcoins, which the company said were
stolen in a computer hacking attack.
Customers have alleged that insiders including Karpeles may have
stolen the money, and employees told Reuters they were worried as
early as 2012 that customers' money was being diverted for operating
Mt. Gox filed bankruptcy in February in Tokyo. Last month, Karpeles
asked a Dallas court to grant Mt. Gox Chapter 15 bankruptcy
protection, in part to put a stop to a class action that had been
filed by U.S. customers in Chicago federal court.
Under Chapter 15, protection from creditors is not automatic. Mt.
Gox must prove at a May 20 hearing that it should be granted such
"If he avails himself of this court, my God, he is going to get
himself over here," Jernigan said at the Bankruptcy Court hearing in
Dallas at which she ordered Karpeles to appear.
John Mitchell, a Baker & McKenzie attorney, said the company may
replace Karpeles as the "foreign representative" of Mt. Gox in the
U.S. bankruptcy court, a suggestion that did not sit well with the
"He filed this case," she responded curtly.
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Karpeles' testimony could help solve the mystery of what happened to
money and bitcoins that were entrusted to Mt. Gox by its clients,
most of them from the United States.
Karpeles controlled the company's financial records and may be the
only person who knows where the company's assets and money might be,
Steven Woodrow, an attorney for U.S. customers, told the Dallas
Jernigan limited the deposition questioning of Karpeles to issues
pertaining to whether the court should grant permanent bankruptcy
protection to Mt. Gox.
The case is In Re: Mt. Gox Co. Ltd, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern
District of Dallas, No. 14-31229.
(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware;
editing by David
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