Sam Bankman-Fried found guilty in collapse of FTX

Sam Bankman-Fried found guilty in collapse of FTX

The jury didn’t take long to return its verdict on several charges

The former head of FTX crypto exchange, Sam Bankman-Fried, faces decades behind bars after being convicted of seven criminal charges, including securities fraud, money laundering and wire fraud, after the jury deliberated for five hours.

Prosecutors aimed to demonstrate that Bankman-Fried was the criminal mastermind who directed an enormous financial scam, saying he treated Alameda like his personal piggybank, using FTX customer funds to make political contributions, purchase luxury real estate for friends and family and make risky investments.

“This case has always been about lying, cheating and stealing, and we have no patience for it,” said Damian Williams, US attorney for the Southern District of New York, in a statement.

FTX and Alameda Research filed for bankruptcy on November 11, with Bankman-Fried detained in The Bahamas a month later. A short time later, his former executives pled guilty and began cooperating with federal prosecutors, including the former head of Alameda and former girlfriend Caroline Ellison. Their damaging testimony during the trial was too much for Bankman-Fried to overcome.

Ellison and FTX co-founder Gary Wang testified that Bankman-Fried led them to commit crimes, which was compelling because they weren’t just his coworkers. They were also some of his best friends.

Cohen contended in his closing statements that although Bankman-Fried had made mistakes, he acted in good faith and never planned to commit any crimes. However, the jury would side with the prosecution.

“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,” said Mark Cohen, attorney for Bankman-Fried.

Bankman-Fried remains in custody in a Brooklyn federal jail pending Judge Lewis Kaplan’s sentencing, scheduled for March 28, where he faces the possibility of life in prison.

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