Sam Bankman-Fried could face 115-year sentence in FTX case

abdelaziz Fathi

FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty in New York federal court to criminal charges related to the collapse of his now-bankrupt exchange and Alameda Research.

FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried

The disgraced cryptocurrency legend was indicted on eight counts, including wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy, as well as charges of securities fraud and conspiracy to avoid campaign finance regulations. If convicted, the onetime crypto billionaire could face up to 115 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan set a trial date for October 2. SBF, who is out on a $250 million bond, appeared in Federal District Court in Manhattan and his attorney Mark Cohen entered the plea of not guilty to all counts.

Mr. Bankman-Fried, 30, previously acknowledged making mistakes but denied claims of engaging in widespread fraud, paving the way for a trial. However, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate could ultimately change his mind and plead guilty to at least some of the charges.

Federal prosecutor Danielle Sassoon accused SBF of running a multiyear scheme that defrauded customers and lenders on the financial condition of FTX and Alameda from 2019 through November 2022. He also violated federal campaign finance laws and misled the Federal Election Commission by funneling $70 million in illegal contributions to political candidates, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.

Bankman-Fried is also accused of misappropriating $8 billion worth of customer assets to buy extravagant real estate and vanity projects in the Bahamas, trade cryptocurrencies, invest in other companies and make tens of millions of dollars in political donations.

Prosecutors have called his actions “a fraud of epic proportions” and one of the largest and most “brazen” frauds in recent memory.

Bankman-Fried was extradited from the Bahamas, where he lived and where his firms were based, to the United States on December 21. On the next day he appeared in the court and was granted bail on a $250 million recognizance bond, secured by his family home in California. However, he was released under highly restrictive conditions, including barring him from transferring or accessing FTX customer assets and to stay confined to his parents’ home in Palo Alto.

Two of Bankman-Fried’s closest allies, Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison, and FTX co-founder Gary Wang, have pleaded guilty to criminal charges. The agreements indicate that Ellison, 28, and Wang, 29, have agreed to cooperate fully with the government after being slapped with civil and criminal charges alleging fraud and conspiracy.

Read this next

Retail FX

Webull Australia offers 5.4% yield on uninvested cash

“US dollar money market funds are heavily regulated, meaning client funds are managed in a safe, reliable and trusted environment, which is of critical importance to us, and continues to remain top-of-mind for our clients.”

Digital Assets

Bybit welcomes Ethena’s USDe, a decentralized stablecoin utilizing delta-hedging staked Ether

“Our collaboration with Ethena Labs represents our commitment to solving some of the biggest challenges in crypto today, not least, the creation of a decentralized stablecoin. The integration of USDe on Bybit expands our stablecoin offerings, providing our users with an array of uncorrelated solutions accessible from our Unified Trading Account.”

Market News

Unravelling the Yen Surge and BoJ Policy Speculations Impacting USD/JPY

The recent downturn in the USD/JPY pair due to the yen’s strength, driven by speculation about the Bank of Japan’s potential tightening of monetary policy.

Digital Assets

Himalaya Exchange customers seek release of frozen funds from DOJ

FormerFeds, a corporate defense and litigation service provider, has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on behalf of over three and a half thousand Himalaya Exchange customers.

Digital Assets

Nubank, Circle, and Talos join forces for crypto adoption in Brazil

Nubank, the Brazilian neobank backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and Softbank Group Corp, announced new partnerships with cryptocurrency firms Circle and Talos.

Metaverse Gaming NFT

Flare onboards Ankr, Figment, Restake, and NorthStake as validators

Flare, an EVM smart contract platform known for its focus on blockchain data utility, has announced a major step in its development. The platform has onboarded leading infrastructure providers, including Ankr, Figment, Restake, and NorthStake.

Digital Assets

Sui Joins DeFi Leaders, Topping $100M in Bridged USDC

Sui, the groundbreaking Layer 1 blockchain created by the technology experts who led Meta’s Diem blockchain initiative and created the Move smart contract language, continues its explosive ascent in decentralized finance (DeFi). This week, it surpassed $100 million in bridged USDC. 

Digital Assets

Poloniex hit by UK regulator, listed as ‘unauthorised’ exchange

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has added the cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex to its warning list of non-authorized companies. Poloniex, which is based in Seychelles, has experienced four hacks in the last two months and is affiliated with entrepreneur Justin Sun.

Industry News

Exclusive Markets is Proudly ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Certified by MSECB for Unparalleled Commitment to Information Security

Exclusive Markets, a leading name in the FINTECH sector, proudly announces the attainment of ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Certification by the MSECB. This esteemed certification highlights Exclusive Markets’ persistent commitment to fortifying information security within its cutting-edge trading technology.