Mt. Gox Faces US Subpoena and Investigation in Japan

The Mt. Gox saga is starting to attract attention from law enforcement on both sides of the Pacific.

Feb 26, 2014 at 11:25 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 10:23 a.m. UTC

The Mt. Gox maelstrom is starting to attract attention from law enforcement in Japan and the US.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Mt. Gox has been subpoenaed by the US Attorney’s office in New York. Additionally, a few thousand miles west, Japanese officials have confirmed that local authorities are looking into the matter, too.

The Wall Street Journal cites an unnamed source, which revealed the federal subpoena was sent this month. Details are rather thin on the ground and at this point in time it remains unclear when the subpoena was sent, or what it is all about.

In any case, federal prosecutors don’t tend to waste their time in vain and the fact that the attorney’s office is declining to comment the matter is consistent with an ongoing investigation.

Japan authorities "gathering information"

As for Japan, it might be even more serious, as Japanese authorities are already looking into the closure of Mt. Gox.

"At this stage the relevant financial authorities, the police, the Finance Ministry and others are gathering information on the case," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference, Reuters reports.

Suga stopped short of saying what sort of investigation has been launched. It should be pointed out that Japan’s Financial Services Agency and the Ministry of Finance insist that they simply do not have jurisdiction over Mt. Gox. The Bank of Japan has not commented publicly, either.

However, Suga also mentioned the police, so it is plausible that he is talking about a criminal investigation – although this is not something we can confirm at this time.

Mt. Gox still isn't saying much

For its part, Mt. Gox is still practically silent. Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles isn’t talking to the media, but he did tell Reuters that the exchange should have an official announcement ready “soon-ish”. He added that Mt. Gox is “at a turning point” and that he cannot say more as other parties are involved.

The only things coming out of Mt. Gox are new revelations that are anything but positive.

Fox Business published an online chat between Karpleles and consultant Jon Fisher that all but confirmed that leaked documents purporting the exchange’s insolvency are more or less true,  although he insists they were not produced by Mt. Gox.

Karpeles mentioned “other parties” in his response to Reuters, but it remains unclear who produced the documents and how (or why) they were leaked.


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