A jury in federal court in Manhattan has reached a verdict in the criminal case of onetime cryptocurrency kingpin Sam Bankman-Fried, who is accused of orchestrating a scheme to collect as much as $10 billion from users of the collapsed FTX exchange.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty by a jury in New York of defrauding FTX customers.
Additionally, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty of all seven charges on which he was tried in New York.
A 12-member jury in Manhattan federal court convicted SBF after a month-long trial in which prosecutors alleged the exchange greedily stole $8 billion from its customers.
Bankman-Fried had pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraud and five counts of conspiracy.
Bankman-Fried, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate whose parents are Stanford University law professors, could face decades in prison when sentencing is determined at a later date by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan.
Defense lawyers, who objected to some of Kaplan's decisions before and during the trial, are expected to appeal the decision.
The jury began deliberations on Thursday after hearing the defense's argument against the prosecution's opinion the day before.
Prosecutors argued during the trial that Bankman-Fried transferred money from FTX to crypto-focused hedge fund Alameda Research, even though he advertised on social media and in television ads that the exchange prioritized the security of customer funds.
According to prosecutors, Alameda used the money to pay off lenders and make loans to Bankman-Fried and other executives; They also made speculative venture investments and donated more than $100 million to U.S. political campaigns to support cryptocurrency legislation that the defendant saw as favorable to his business.
The jury heard testimony for 15 days. Former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison and former FTX executives Gary Wang and Nishad Singh testified for the prosecution after pleading guilty to charges that SBF also helped Alameda rob FTX and lied to lenders and investors about the companies' financial health. They said that it led them to commit crimes, including
The defense claimed that these three people, who had not yet been sentenced, falsely accused Bankman-Fried in order to get the sentence commuted. Prosecutors may ask Kaplan to consider their cooperation when determining their sentences.
The former FTX CEO faces a maximum sentence of 115 years in prison.
Sam Bankman-Fried's sentence will be announced on March 28, 2024.
*This is not investment advice.