In a stunning turn of events, former cryptocurrency mogul Sam Bankman-Fried, 31, was convicted on multiple felony counts in federal court in New York City on Thursday evening. The disgraced entrepreneur, once hailed as a billionaire, had founded the popular FTX cryptocurrency exchange. This verdict comes after a months-long investigation into the sudden collapse of his company, which overnight left countless victims in its wake.
Bankman-Fried faced a range of charges, including wire fraud on customers of FTX, conspiracy to commit wire fraud on FTX customers, wire fraud on Alameda Research lenders, conspiracy to commit wire fraud on lenders to Alameda Research, conspiracy to commit securities fraud on investors in FTX, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud on customers of FTX, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The prosecution argued that Bankman-Fried’s actions cost victims an estimated $10 billion, making him one of the biggest fraudsters in history, responsible for the loss of a substantial amount of funds. The guilty verdict raises questions about the accountability and regulatory oversight of the cryptocurrency industry.
Mark Cohen, the attorney representing Bankman-Fried, expressed disappointment with the jury’s decision, maintaining that his client is innocent and will continue to vigorously fight the charges against him.
One of the most damaging moments during the trial was Bankman-Fried’s own testimony, in which he faced intense cross-examination by prosecutor Danielle Sassoon. She grilled him over past statements he made in interviews following his company’s collapse, highlighting his more than 140 claims of not recalling what he had previously said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos characterized the case as “a pyramid of deceit built by the defendant on a foundation of lies and false promises, all to get money, and eventually it collapsed, leaving countless victims in its wake.” The prosecution’s argument centered on Bankman-Fried’s alleged knowledge of the fraud and his complicity in the theft of funds.
Now that the second largest donor to the Democratic Party and Joe Biden has been convicted of “one of the biggest financial frauds in US history” will they provide a refund to the victims of Sam Bankman-Fried who used stolen customer funds to pay the Dems? pic.twitter.com/65SGAWU4yF
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) November 3, 2023