After the collapse of FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, customers faced significant losses. Following a trial in New York, the jury has reached a verdict after four hours of deliberation.
Bankman-Fried, commonly known as SBF, has been found guilty of all seven charges brought against him. These charges include two counts of wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud conspiracy, one count of securities fraud, one count of commodities fraud conspiracy, and one count of money laundering conspiracy.
The potential sentences for SBF’s offenses range from 5 to 20 years in prison for each charge. Notably, wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy carry a maximum sentence of 20 years.
SBF is scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on March 28, 2024, before New York District Judge Lewis Kaplan. While government prosecutors will make a recommendation for his sentence, the final decision rests with Judge Kaplan.
In the trial, it was revealed that Bankman-Fried had directed his close associates, Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang, and Nishad Singh, to engage in fraudulent activities. These activities facilitated the transfer of billions of dollars in FTX customer funds to Alameda, an affiliated hedge fund primarily owned by Bankman-Fried.
During the proceedings, Ellison, Wang, and Singh provided crucial testimonies against Bankman-Fried. They had already confessed to their involvement as part of cooperation agreements with prosecutors. Typically, cooperating witnesses receive lighter sentences, especially when aiding in the prosecution of a more significant offender.
While Bankman-Fried faces the possibility of a lengthy prison term, Ellison, Wang, and Singh are expected to receive minimal or no prison sentences. Instead, they may face fines. The determination of their sentences will likely occur after Bankman-Fried’s sentencing, with prosecutors vouching for their cooperation in letters to the judge.
It is important to note that another trial involving five additional charges, which had been separated from the current proceedings, is set for March. However, Judge Kaplan has requested that the prosecutors decide by February 1 whether this trial will proceed.
The fate of SBF and his associates remains uncertain, but the outcome of the trial marks a significant development in the legal proceedings against them.
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