Sam Bankman-Fried Found Guilty, Faces Up to 115 Years in Prison
Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of FTX, convicted of fraud and conspiracy against customers and lending institutions.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, has been convicted of seven counts of fraud and conspiracy against the customers of the exchange and the lending institutions of Alameda Research, which has also been condemned for acting against investors.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams described SBF's actions as "one of the largest financial frauds in American history." Despite the crypto reality being relatively young, the foundation of the fraud is based on elements "as old as time": scams and lies.
The trial, which has been covered from the start, began in early October with testimonies from SBF's circle of collaborators. Among them were Caroline Ellison, SBF's former girlfriend and former CEO of Alameda, and Gary Wang, co-founder of FTX, both of whom pleaded guilty last December and are cooperating with the prosecution.
The jury's verdict, which was unanimous, came in the last few hours. SBF now must decide whether to continue fighting for a second trial, following the judge's sentencing set for March 28, 2024.
SBF's lawyers have expressed their intention to continue defending their client, who still claims innocence, arguing that he made "common business mistakes" rather than actual fraud. At the heart of the matter is the defendant's intentions and whether he acted with a true criminal intent when diverting customer funds towards high-risk investments, sponsorships, and the much-discussed political donations.
From this perspective, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos stated that the only certainty is that about $10 billion of customer property was lost. The issue remains whether SBF was aware of the crime he was committing.