Once hailed as the ‘King of Crypto’, Sam Bankman-Fried, the former head of major crypto exchange FTX, has been convicted of fraud and money laundering in a New York trial. This marks a dramatic downfall for the 31-year-old, who now faces the prospect of spending decades behind bars.
Bankman-Fried’s arrest came after FTX, once valued at $32 billion, declared bankruptcy last year with $8 billion in customer funds unaccounted for.
US attorney Damian Williams stated, “Sam Bankman-Fried perpetrated one of the biggest financial frauds in American history – a multibillion-dollar scheme designed to make him the king of crypto.”
The jury found Bankman-Fried guilty on seven counts of fraud and money laundering, accusing him of deceiving investors and embezzling billions from FTX, leading to its collapse.
While Bankman-Fried’s lawyer respects the jury’s decision, he maintains his client’s innocence and plans to vigorously contest the charges.
Three former associates, including ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison, pleaded guilty and will testify against him to potentially reduce their own sentences.
Bankman-Fried’s trial sheds light on the broader challenges facing the crypto industry, which has faced regulatory scrutiny.
The outcome of this case is expected to have lasting implications for the sector, as specific crypto regulations in the US are yet to be established.