FTX Co-Founder Sam Bankman-Fried convicted in $10 Billion Fraud

The month-long trial culminated in the jury dismissing Bankman-Fried's claims of innocence

Sam Bankman-Fried, the co-founder and former CEO of FTX, one of the world's significant cryptocurrency exchanges, has been convicted on seven counts related to fraud and money laundering.

A New York jury delivered a verdict that found Bankman-Fried guilty on charges of defrauding customers and investors, leading to losses estimated at a minimum of $10 billion, according to reports from the Associated Press during his testimony at the Manhattan federal court. Despite his assertions that he had not engaged in fraudulent activities or intended to deceive customers, the collapse of FTX, once the world's second-largest crypto exchange, precipitated the allegations against him.

Sam Bankman-Fried
FTX Co-Founder Sam Bankman-Fried convicted in $10 Billion fraud and money laundering case

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan directed Bankman-Fried to stand and face the jury as the forewoman declared "guilty" seven counts of charges including wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, and three other conspiracy charges. These convictions could potentially lead to a cumulative sentence of 110 years in prison. However, sentencing is scheduled for March 28, and Bankman-Fried is anticipated to receive a lesser term than the maximum penalty.

Bankman-Fried's reaction to the verdict was one of apparent shock, maintaining a stoic demeanor with clasped hands, while his legal team remained seated beside him. After the announcement, he lowered his gaze for an extended period.

His attorney, Mark Cohen, expressed their respect for the jury's decision but conveyed disappointment in the outcome. Cohen affirmed Bankman-Fried's continued assertion of innocence, said they will vigorously Challange the order. He also emphasized the broader significance of this case within the cryptocurrency industry and the necessity to combat fraud and corruption that spans generations.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, while addressing to reporters post-verdict, characterized Bankman-Fried's actions as constituting one of the biggest financial frauds in American history, aiming to establish Bankman-Fried as a prominent figure within the cryptocurrency domain.

The jury's rejection of Bankman-Fried's claims, despite his three days of testimony denying any fraudulent activities, sets the stage for the upcoming sentencing. During this critical moment, Bankman-Fried's parents, both professors at Stanford University, shifted to the front row behind him. His father embraced his wife, supporting her, while Bankman-Fried, being escorted out, exchanged a nod with his mother. She reciprocated and, upon his departure, became visibly emotional, gently wiping her face with her hand.

The case's resolution sends a strong message about accountability within the cryptocurrency industry and highlights the gravity of fraudulent actions, marking a crucial point in the ongoing efforts to regulate this evolving financial sector.