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Mt. Gox CEO ordered to US for questioning on missing bitcoins

The imploded exchange’s saga continues as a US bankruptcy judge orders Mark Karpeles to better explain the disappearance of 650,000 bitcoins.


In just a few short months Mt. Gox has gone from being the world's top Bitcoin exchange to shuttered, missing nearly $400 million in bitcoins, and accused of fraud.

Now, a US judge is ordering the Japan-based exchange's CEO to come to the US and answer a few questions about the Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection it filed in the US last month, according to Reuters. Mt. Gox also filed for bankruptcy in Japan in February.

US Bankruptcy Judge Stacey Jernigan ordered Mark Karpeles to be in Dallas on April 17.

"If he avails himself of this court, my God, he is going to get himself over here," Jernigan said at a hearing, according to Reuters.

Apparently, Jernigan wants Karpeles to give more details on why Mt. Gox shut down and how hundreds of thousands of customer bitcoins were lost.

Mt. Gox filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection last month after Karpeles revealed that it lost almost 750,000 customer bitcoins, as well as 100,000 of the exchange's own bitcoins.

While Karpeles announced a couple of weeks ago that 200,000 of those missing bitcoins were discovered in an unused the total number of those still missing is 650,000 -- which is worth $383 million at current exchange rates. The majority of the affected customers are based in the US.

Karpeles has maintained that the bitcoins were stolen by cybercriminals through a security flaw in Mt. Gox's exchange system. But hackers who hijacked Karpeles' Reddit account and personal blog last month allege fraud and claim the exchange kept some of the bitcoins that were reported stolen. Some Mt. Gox customers also allege that people within the company may have stolen bitcoins, according to Reuters.

Mt. Gox announced last week that it is working with local police in Japan to find out what happened to the missing bitcoins. The exchange also said that it intends to cooperate fully with the authorities.

It's not yet clear if Mt. Gox will get bankruptcy protection in the US. According to Reuters, the exchange is scheduled to present its case in court at a May 20 hearing.