Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, has been found guilty on all seven fraud charges in a historic ruling that will have a lasting impact on the cryptocurrency community. This case represents a sharp decline in popularity for the once-promising crypto entrepreneur. Following a quick five-week trial and just a few hours of jury deliberation, the verdict reveals a multibillion-dollar scam that U.S. Attorney Damian Williams decries as one of the largest in American history, aiming to crown Bankman-Fried as “one of the biggest financial frauds in U.S. history.”
FTX and its sister company Alameda Research were originally led by Bankman-Fried, who was convicted on two charges of wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy in addition to one count each of securities fraud, commodities fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy. He could receive up to 115 years in jail when New York District Judge Lewis Kaplan sentences him on March 28, 2024, though experts believe a shorter term is more likely.
The trial saw former allies turned key witnesses, with former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison, FTX co-founder Gary Wang, and former FTX engineering head Nishad Singh all pleading guilty to related charges and aiding the government’s case against Bankman-Fried. Despite his defense’s efforts, Bankman-Fried’s testimony—denying fraudulent intent and attributing the collapse to “big mistakes” and oversight failures—failed to sway the jury.
The ripple effects of FTX’s collapse extended globally, with the Philippines feeling the shockwaves. Before ceasing operations, Rebittance (SCI Ventures), a licensed crypto exchange in the Philippines, disclosed a thwarted acquisition deal with Genesis Block, which halted trading services following the FTX debacle.
This conviction stands as a stark warning in the volatile realm of cryptocurrency, underscoring the fragility of trust and the imperative of rigorous oversight in the digital finance frontier.
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