Samuel Bankman-Fried Released on $250 Million Bail, Charges Announced for Former Executives Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang

Sam Bankman-Fried, extradited to the US last night, will be released on $250 million, according to multiple reports. The former FTX CEO will be restricted to his parents’ home as part of the deal. Charges against Bankman-Fried were revealed last week. The indictment claims that from around 2019, Bankman-Fried sought to commit fraud.

Today, Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI, commented on the charges against Bankman-Fried, along with two of his former partners.

As was reported earlier, former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, FTX co-founder and former CTO, have pleaded guilty to charges while deciding to work with prosecutors to reduce any potential sentencing in regard to the crimes.

Ellison has been charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; two counts of wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Wang is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Final sentencing will be determined by the courts but by providing inside information on FTX, Alameda Research, and Bankman-Fried’s actions, the two defendants should be able to reduce any punishment for the acts of fraud.

U.S. Attorney Williams commented:

“Last week, we announced charges against Samuel Bankman-Fried for a sweeping fraud scheme that contributed to FTX’s collapse and for a campaign finance scheme that sought to influence public policy in Washington.  As I said last week, this investigation is very much ongoing, and it’s moving very quickly.  I also said that last week’s announcement would not be our last, and let me be clear once again, neither is today’s.”

Driscoll said with the pleas announced today, Ellison and Wang have admitted they were willing participants in schemes to defraud FTX’s customers and backers out of their money.

“The FBI will continue to seek justice for the victims of this case.  No matter how fraudsters dress it up or sell the scam, we will continue to make every effort to ensure those responsible for the scheme are held accountable in our criminal justice system.”

FTX filed for bankruptcy after a run-on-the-bank type event where FTX was unable to fulfill redemption requests from account holders. Over time, allegations of embezzlement, the co-mingling of funds, and profound incompetence have emerged at what was once one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world. Prior to his arrest, Bankman-Fried pursued a shameless public relations campaign professing his innocence of any crime. Bankman-Fried claimed he had made inadvertent mistakes that led to the debacle. It has been reported that FTX lost approximately $8 billion. The company and its subsidiaries are currently going through bankruptcy proceedings.

US Attorney Williams has alluded to additional charges that may be in the works, announcing that anyone who was involved with the demise of FTX to contact his office before federal authorities contact them.

By establishing the assistance of Wang and Ellison, the case against Bankman-Fried has gained a significant advantage in any potential prosecution.

The trio is also facing charges filed by both the SEC and CFTC.

The allegations in the indictment against Bankman-Fried are accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Related: Former Alameda Research, FTX Execs Apologize, Admit Guilt in Court: Report


US v. Bankman-Fried Indictment 2022

 


 

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