Manhattan US attorney Damian Williams said, “While the cryptocurrency industry might be new […] this kind of corruption is as old as time,”
After a five-week trial, a jury has found Sam Bankman-Fried guilty of seven accounts of fraud and conspiracy.
Charges include 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.
The 31-year-old former crypto mogul will return to court for sentencing in March 2024. Based on the charges, he could face up to 115 years behind bars.
The case has been the most high-profile in crypto, involving $10 billion in customer funds. Bankman-Fried’s former colleagues and inner circle, including Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang, and Nishad Singh, all testified against him under a guilty plea as Bankman-Fried tried to shift the blame toward others.
Manhattan US attorney Damian Williams said that “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 – but while the cryptocurrency industry might be new and the players like Sam Bankman-Fried might be new, this kind of corruption is as old as time.”
“This case has always been about lying, cheating, and stealing and we have no patience for it,” he added.
Williams also sent a stern warning to other fraudsters, commenting that this case moved at “lighting speed” by choice.
He said, “This case is also a warning to every fraudster who thinks they’re untouchable, that their crimes are too complex for us to catch, that they are too powerful to prosecute, or that they are clever enough to talk their way out of it if caught. Those folks should think again and cut it out. And if they don’t, I promise we’ll have enough handcuffs for all of them.”
Bankman-Fried’s lawyer, Mark Cohen, expressed disappointment in the ruling, but said that they will “vigorously” fight the charges against him.
Bankman-Fried’s parents, Stanford Law Professors Barbara Fried and Joseph Bankman, reportedly sat with their head in their hands as the verdict was read.
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