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By Reuters

TOKYO, March 15 — A Tokyo court on Friday handed the founder of the now-defunct Mt. Gox bitcoin currency exchange a 2-1/2-year suspended sentence for his role in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bitcoins and cash, Kyodo news agency reported.

The court suspended the sentence for Mark Karpeles for four years, finding the French national guilty of data manipulation but innocent on charges of embezzlement, Kyodo said. Karpeles had pleaded not guilty on both charges.

Mt. Gox once handled 80 percent of the world's bitcoin trades but filed for bankruptcy in 2014 after losing some 850,000 bitcoins, then worth around half a billion U.S. dollars.