A federal jury convicted Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of failed cryptocurrency company FTX, on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy.
The charges carry a maximum prison term of 110 years, per the New York Times. The jury verdict Thursday came after a trial of a little over a month in federal court in New York City. The U.S. government alleged that Bankman-Fried, 31, had cheated investors and customers out of upwards of $10 billion through FTX and crytpo trading firm Alameda Research.
According to federal prosecutors, the charges against Bankman-Fried arose from an alleged “wide-ranging scheme by Bankman-Fried to misappropriate billions of dollars of customer funds deposited with FTX” and “mislead investors and lenders” to FTX and to Alameda Research. During the trial, Bankman-Fried had testified that he never committed fraud or meant to cheat FTX’s customers.
Bankman-Fried’s sentencing hearing has been set for March 28, 2024. The case of Bankman-Fried, known as “SBF,” has attracted widespread public interest — as well as attention in Hollywood, as there are multiple SBF-related projects currently in development.
In December 2022, Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas and extradited to the U.S., where he was released on a $250 million bond with electronic monitoring and a requirement that he remain at his parents’ residence in Palo Alto, Calif.
FTX’s collapsed came after a crypto news and data site CoinDesk in November 2022 published an article citing what it said was a balance sheet for Alameda Research showing much of its assets were in token issued by sister company FTX — causing a run on FTX’s assets.
Bankman-Fried fell quickly from the top of the crypto totem pole after a faulty Alameda balance sheet was unveiled by CoinDesk in November 2022, which resulted in industry-wide panic and concern around FTX and its liquidity.
Investors in FTX had included Endeavor’s IMG sports division, NFL quarterback Tom Brady and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, according to bankruptcy court documents. Major FTX shareholders included Dan Loeb’s Third Point, Paradigm, Sequoia Capital, Thoma Bravo, Softbank, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Temasek, Tiger Global Management and Coinbase, a crypto exchange competitor to FTX.
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