After a five-week fraud trial, Sam Bankman-Fried has been found guilty on all seven charges related to the spectacular collapse of the FTX crypto exchange last November.
Bankman-Fried Facing Upto 110 Years In Prison
A 12-person New York jury on November 2 gave a verdict, convicting
Sam Bankman-Fried of defrauding customers, lenders, and investors of FTX as much as $10 billion.
After just a couple of hours of deliberation on Thursday, the jury convicted Bankman-Fried of all seven counts of fraud and conspiracy charges brought against him by the U.S. government. While the jury rendered a verdict, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan will determine his sentence on March 28, 2024. Prosecutors will suggest a sentence, but Judge Kaplan will ultimately have the final say.
In a press conference outside the courthouse after the guilty verdicts, 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.”
As a consequence, the once-prominent FTX CEO faces up to 110 years in prison.
The FTX Collapse
Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire imploded in November last year. The exchange’s unprecedented collapse rocked crypto prices — driving Bitcoin to $15,700 lows while simultaneously damaging the reputation of the crypto industry.
Bankman-Fried’s close associates, including Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison and FTX’s former head of engineering Nishad Singh, testified against him and said they committed crimes on Bankman-Fried’s direction. These former FTX-Alameda officials are hoping that working with the government after pleading guilty to all charges will earn them leniency in their own sentences.
Nonetheless, an appeal of the Thursday verdict seems possible. Bankman-Fried’s lawyer 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.”