Disgraced cryptocurrency mogul Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty Thursday on all charges in one of the most prominent cases of financial wrongdoing in modern U.S. history.
Fifteen days of testimony in the New York courtroom resulted in only four and a half hours of jury deliberations. The twelve-person panel announced that Bankman-Fried was found guilty on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy.
The former FTX chief was guilty of committing wire fraud on FTX clients and Alamada Research lenders, conspiracy to commit wire fraud on FTX customers and Alameda Research lenders as well as commodities fraud and money laundering charges.
The 31-year-old was accused of funneling investor funds into luxury properties and charitable donations.
Bankman-Fried was also a high-profile donor to the Democratic Party and its causes. He has been cited as the second largest contributor to leftist politicians after billionaire George Soros.
NEW: FTX fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried is facing 100+ years in federal prison after he was found guilty of all charges brought forward by the DOJ.
However, what remains unclear is whether action will be taken by the DOJ to investigate the over $70 million dollars SBF donated to… pic.twitter.com/ErIM0fgpH3
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) November 3, 2023
FTX filed for bankruptcy in Nov. 2022, and attention quickly fell on the crypto company’s leader. Bankman-Fried maintained his innocence for the past year and testified in his defense during the trial.
He claimed to believe that funds he misused were “corporate” and not from investors. Prosecutors countered that he purposefully schemed to defraud investors through embezzling billions in deposits while ordering his FTX colleagues to follow his lead.
Several of those former colleagues testified against Bankman-Fried at his trial. Three in his closest circle, including ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison, pleaded guilty and cooperated with federal prosecutors.
The now-disgraced businessman faces a possible 110 years in prison. Sentencing will be carried out on March 28 by Judge Lewis Kaplan.
Defense attorney Mark Cohen expressed his “disappointment” in a statement following the reading of the verdict. He said an appeal is likely and that his client “maintains his innocence and will continue to vigorously fight the charges against him.”
A much different reaction came from Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “Sam Bankman-Fried perpetrated one of the biggest financial frauds in American history.”
Williams noted that the crypto industry is new as are its major players. “But this kind of corruption,” he added, “is as old as time.”