Sam Bankman-Fried Found Guilty on All Charges

  • The New York Jurors took 4 fours of deliberating before pronouncing the former FTX CEO guilty of all seven charges of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.
  • Bankman-Fried will now have to appear in court on 28 March, 2024, where he will face a potential maximum sentence of 115 years in prison.

Former CEO of FTX Sam Bankman-Fried leaves the Federal Court in New York after pleading not guilty, 3 January, 2022.
lev radin/Shutterstock

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has been found guilty of all seven charges against him by a New York jury on 3 November, only five weeks into his criminal trial.

After a four hour deliberation the New York Jury pronounced Bankman-Fried guilty of all charges, including two counts of wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud conspiracy, one count of securities fraud, one count of commodities fraud conspiracy, and one count of money laundering conspiracy. Outside of the courthouse U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said SBF perpetrated “one of the biggest financial frauds in American history”, and that the judicial system had “no patience for it”.

Although Bankman-Fried was found guilty he is yet to be sentenced, which will be carried out by New York District Judge Lewis Kaplan on 28 March, 2024. The former FTX CEO could theoretically receive a sentence of 115 years in prison, with each of his crimes carrying a maximum sentence of between 5 and 20 years. An appeal from the defense seems likely, with defense attorney Mark Cohen saying they “respect the jury’s decision”, but will “continue to vigorously fight” the charges against Bankman-Fried.

Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested last December in the Bahamas — shortly after the collapse of crypto exchange FTX and sister trading company Alameda Research — and was later extradited to the U.S., where he faced allegations of fraud. SBF pleaded not guilty to all charges against him, but other key FTX and Alameda executives — including former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison, FTX co-founder Gary Wang, and former FTX engineering head Nishad Singh — all pleaded guilty to the charges against them, and worked with the prosecution to testify against SBF during his trial.

Although his former colleagues said SBF set the direction for FTX’s operations, the former CEO denied any wrongdoing during his trial, and tried to distance himself from key decisions of his companies. His defense team tried to paint SBF as an overworked businessman who made $8 billion worth of mistakes, and tried to place the blame on Ellison — for not focusing on risk management — and Wang, who created the function that allowed Alameda to trade with FTX customer funds.

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Sam Bankman-Fried’s First Expert Witness to Rebuke DoJ Witnesses
  • Joseph Pimbley, a member of litigation consulting firm PF2 Securities, will try to rebuff testimonies from Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang, Nishad Singh, and Adam Yedidia.
  • During his testimony Pimbley will try to establish a timeline for the FTX-Alameda line of credit, and convince the jury it fluctuated between $1 billion and $3 billion between 2021 and 2022.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s Trial Goes Into Day Two
  • The prosecution tried to paint FTX’s founder as someone who deliberately deceived his customers to get rich, and noted that he directed all activities that led to the failure of the company.
  • The defense’s claimed SBF was an entrepreneur whose plans simply “didn’t work out”, and tried to cast the blame for Alameda’s downfall to its former CEO Caroline Ellison.