Sam Bankman-Fried Found Guilty on all 7 Charges in FTX Fraud Trial – Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, has been convicted on all seven charges by a New York jury following approximately four hours of deliberation. The charges against him include two counts of wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud conspiracy, one count of securities fraud, one count of commodities fraud conspiracy, and one count of money laundering conspiracy.
He is scheduled to appear in court for his sentencing, which will be presided over by New York District Judge Lewis Kaplan, on March 28, 2024. While government prosecutors will provide a recommended sentence, Judge Kaplan will ultimately determine the final sentence. It’s worth noting that the offenses Bankman-Fried was found guilty of carry potential sentences ranging from five to 20 years in prison, with wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years.
In a press conference outside the court, New York Southern District U.S. Attorney Damian Williams called Bankman-Fried’s crimes “a multibillion-dollar scheme designed to make him the king of crypto” and one of the biggest financial frauds in American history. Bankman-Fried’s attorney, Mark Cohen, said in a statement: “We respect the jury’s decision. But we are very disappointed with the result.”
“Mr. Bankman Fried maintains his innocence and will continue to vigorously fight the charges against him.” Several significant FTX executives, such as the former CEO of Alameda, Caroline Ellison, FTX co-founder Gary Wang, and the former head of engineering at FTX, Nishad Singh, have admitted their guilt in relation to various charges and cooperated with the government by providing testimony against Sam Bankman-Fried during the five-week trial.
However, Bankman-Fried, the former CEO, had initially entered a plea of not guilty to all charges. Throughout his trial, he took the witness stand to assert his innocence and attributed FTX’s November 2022 collapse to what he described as a series of significant mistakes. He refuted any wrongdoing in FTX’s association with Alameda and made efforts to distance himself from pivotal decisions.
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Bankman-Fried attributed the creation of a feature that allowed Alameda to trade funds on FTX without having them to Wang, claiming he “wasn’t entirely certain” about the developments regarding Alameda’s ballooning line of credit, which reached billions during the crypto market collapse of 2022. During his testimony, he also placed blame on Ellison for not prioritizing risk management and denied that he defrauded FTX customers by accessing over $8 billion in their funds. Instead, he portrayed it as Alameda borrowing from the exchange.