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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Popular crypto king found guilty of fraud, faces 115 years in prison

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Sam Bankman-Fried has been found guilty on all seven counts related to fraud and money laundering.

He is the co-founder and former CEO of crypto exchange FTX, once the world’s second-largest crypto exchange, and trading firm Alameda Research.

A New York jury convicted him of fraud in a scheme that cheated customers and investors of at least $10 billion, AP reported.

Jurors rejected Bankman-Fried’s claim that he had never committed fraud or meant to cheat customers before FTX collapsed into bankruptcy a year ago.

“His crimes caught up to him. His crimes have been exposed,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon told the jury of the onetime billionaire just before they were read the law by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan and began deliberations.

Sassoon said Bankman-Fried turned his customers’ accounts into his “personal piggy bank” as up to $14 billion disappeared.

After the judge set a sentencing date of March 28, Bankman-Fried’s parents moved to the front row behind him. His father put his arm around his wife. As Bankman-Fried was led out of the courtroom, he looked back and nodded toward his mother, who nodded back and then became emotional, wiping her hand across her face after he left the room.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams told reporters after the verdict that Bankman-Fried “perpetrated one of the biggest financial frauds in American history, a multibillion-dollar scheme designed to make him the king of crypto.”

“But here’s the thing: The cryptocurrency industry might be new. The players like Sam Bankman-Fried might be new. This kind of fraud, this kind of corruption is as old as time and we have no patience for it,” AP quoted him as saying.

Bankman-Fried’s attorney, Mark Cohen, said in a statement they “respect the jury’s decision. But we are very disappointed with the result.”

“Mr. Bankman Fried maintains his innocence and will continue to vigorously fight the charges against him,” Cohen said.


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