Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, has been convicted of fraud and conspiracy charges by a federal jury in New York. He faces up to 110 years in prison for his crimes.
Bankman-Fried was found guilty of seven counts, including wire fraud, securities fraud, commodities fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy. He was accused of using his other company, Alameda Research, a crypto trading firm, to manipulate the prices of cryptocurrencies on FTX and defraud investors of millions of dollars.
The prosecution argued that Bankman-Fried thought the rules did not apply to him and that he acted with “greed and arrogance” in running his crypto empire. They presented evidence of his involvement in creating a function that allowed Alameda to trade with funds it did not have on FTX, and his knowledge of Alameda’s inflated line of credit, which reached billions of dollars in the volatile crypto market of 2022.
The defense claimed that Bankman-Fried was innocent and that he made “several big mistakes” in managing FTX, but did not intend to harm anyone. They tried to distance him from the key decisions made by his co-founders and former employees, who had pleaded guilty to various charges and cooperated with the government.
Bankman-Fried took the stand in his defense and denied any wrongdoing. He said he was not aware of the details of Alameda’s trading activities and that he trusted his co-founders to handle them. He also said he was not sure what happened with Alameda’s line of credit and that he tried to save FTX from collapsing in November 2022.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s Trial Drama Came to an End
The jury did not buy his story and delivered a guilty verdict after deliberating for less than a day. Bankman-Fried will return to court for sentencing by New York District Judge Lewis Kaplan at a later date.
FTX was once one of the largest and most popular crypto exchange platforms in the world, with a valuation of over $18 billion. It collapsed in November 2022, after a massive market crash that wiped out billions of dollars of crypto assets. Thousands of investors lost their money and filed lawsuits against FTX and Bankman-Fried.
The trial of Bankman-Fried was one of the most high-profile cases in the crypto industry, which has faced increased scrutiny and regulation from the authorities in recent years. The case also exposed the dark side of the crypto world, where fraud, manipulation, and deception are rampant.