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MtGox head refuses to attend US court hearing into exchange’s collapse

MtGox’s founder will not be attending a US court hearing on Friday that is attempting to find out how the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange collapsed.

Mark Karpeles, the founder of the collapsed Bitcoin exchange, has refused to travel to Washington D.C. to attend the hearing until he has managed to “get up to speed” on what the US Department of Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network [FinCen] will be asking.

"Mr Karpeles is now in the process of obtaining counsel to represent him with respect to the FinCen subpoena," MtGox’s lawyers said, according to the BBC. "Until such time as counsel is retained and has an opportunity to 'get up to speed' and advise Mr Karpeles, he is not willing to travel to the US."

Related: MtGox discovers 200,000 stray Bitcoins in old digital wallet

The lawyers also requested that the site delays the French-born founder’s deposition until 5 May though it did add that there is no guarantee that he will travel to the US on that date either.

A US Court is attempting to work out how MtGox came to lose almost $500 million [£300 million] worth of the Bitcoin virtual currency that resulted in it filing for bankruptcy protection in both Japan and the US.

MtGox has blamed the bankruptcy on the theft of a huge numbers of Bitcoins that included 750,000 that belonged to customers and 100,000 that are property of the site itself.

A bug in its system caused the error and reports in March stated that the company accounts have 2.8 billion yen [£16.5 million] less than the amount MtGox users have deposited and the bankruptcy court added that it has debts of over 6.5 billion yen [£38 million].

Users that lost money and want someone held accountable will be unhappy that Karpeles won’t be attending and it adds to the cloud surrounding the persons that created the exchange.