- Sam Bankman-Fried is found guilty on all charges in the FTX fraud trial by a jury.
On Thursday, Sam Bankman-Fried, the creator of the defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was found guilty on all counts in his fraud trial. A 12-member federal jury found Bankman-Fried guilty on seven criminal charges stemming from FTX’s dramatic collapse last year.
Judge Kaplan: You will maintain decorum, and remain here until I discharge the jury. Bring in the jury.
[Note: SDNY US Attorney Damian Williams has come into the courtroom and now sits in the front row]
— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) November 2, 2023
The verdict came after a month-long trial in federal court in Manhattan. Prosecutors depicted the 30-year-old former billionaire as a liar who stole billions of dollars in FTX customer funds to cover losses at his hedge fund, Alameda Research.
Bankman-Fried was found guilty of conspiracy, wire fraud, and money laundering. At his sentencing in March 2024, he faces up to 110 years in prison.
After only two days of deliberation, the jury reached a unanimous decision on all counts. As the verdict was read, Bankman-Fried stared straight ahead with no reaction.
The quick conviction contrasts with most sophisticated white-collar crime trials, which frequently require protracted jury deliberations. Prosecutors produced multiple messages showing that Bankman-Fried misled investors about the financial condition of FTX and utilized customer monies to make improper, risky bets through Alameda Research.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s Guilty Verdict Stirs Crypto Community Reactions
The crypto community on X (previously Twitter) was abuzz with emotions following the guilty decision in Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial, which was given shortly before 8 p.m. ET in New York.
What Happened: Adam Cochran, a crypto analyst and venture capitalist, issued a warning to others in the field, noting,
“The SBF trial should serve as a clear warning to other crypto operators.” If you play with other people’s money, you’ll get caught, and the first person to come forward gets the lightest punishment.”
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Bankman-Fried’s fate was sealed by the damaging evidence of former colleagues, according to Cochran, who highlighted that former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison would face limited jail time while the FTX co-founder “likely faces life in prison.”
He also questioned co-conspirators’ dependability in such high-stakes scenarios, asking, “Do you really trust your co-conspirators when it’s all on the line? Like, would you really trust Justin Sun not to rat you out?”
Should let the SBF trial be a clear warning for other operators in crypto.
Caroline and others came forward first and will face minimal time.
SBF didn’t and likely faces life in prison.
If you play with peoples funds, they’ll get you in the end, and the first one or come…
— Adam Cochran (adamscochran.eth) (@adamscochran) November 3, 2023
Meanwhile, convicted felon Martin Shkreli, widely known as “Pharma Bro,” responded more calmly. Contrary to popular belief, Shkreli showed sympathy at the news, adding, “I feel bad for him. There is no victory for anyone here.”
MS getting a victory lap.
How many years you thinking? https://t.co/PDJKpLQG7I
— DeFi Don⌘ (@theDeFiDon) November 3, 2023
Following the conclusion of Bankman-Fried’s trial, investor Mike Novogratz underlined that Bitcoin and the entire cryptocurrency movement were not centered on one guy. “Bitcoin and the whole cryptocurrency moment has never been about one person. There’s something symbolic about this trial ending right now as crypto gets fresh legs.” Novogratz remarked.