I hadn’t been following this story closely, but I’d figured his lawyers would draw it out longer.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been found guilty on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy linked to his ill-fated cryptocurrency exchange and a related hedge fund.
The verdict, delivered on Thursday evening by a New York federal jury, is likely to land the former tycoon a decades-long prison sentence.
The one-time billionaire was charged with bilking customers out of some $8 billion and lying to investors.
Jurors returned the verdict after more than two weeks of testimony and four hours of deliberations. US Attorney Damian Williams praised the decision in a statement after the hearing, saying the government had “no patience” for white-collar crime.
“These players like Sam Bankman-Fried might be new, but this kind of fraud, this kind of corruption, is as old as time,” Williams added.
The one-time crypto billionaire will be sentenced on March 28, and could begin a second trial for five additional charges around the same time. The government has until February 1 to determine if it will proceed with that case, which includes additional counts for fraud, as well as bribery.
It will be interesting to see what the sentence actually is. “Decades-long” seems unlikely.
He really screwed up by operating in America on the scale that he did, which subjected him to American financial regulations he was not even pretending to follow. FTX was based in the Bahamas, and he could have done the same thing without operating directly under US regulation.
I’m not going to defend the guy, but he was following industry standards. Industry standards, however, involve being subject to US regulation.
Unfortunately, Binance did something similar – or rather, is accused of doing something similar (they have a better case than FTX that they were not subject to US regulations). If Binance falls, we’re going to have a serious problem in the crypto world.
Notably, the Binance CEO is not stupid enough to be caught out within the reach of US law enforcement. Bankman was really a moron. That should have been his defense – “I might be Jew, but I’m basically retarded.”