Crypto entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried has been found guilty of his involvement in the collapse of the crypto exchange FTX. The verdict came after 15 days of testimony and about four and a half hours of deliberations, with the jury ruling him guilty on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy. The trial has garnered significant attention from regulators, investors, and the crypto community, as it raises questions about the potential for a broader crackdown on the largely unregulated crypto market.
In response to the verdict, Alfred Lin, a partner at Sequoia, stated that it reaffirms their belief that SBF had misled and deceived many individuals, including customers, employees, business partners, and investors, which included Sequoia itself.
Following the collapse of FTX, Sequoia conducted an extensive review of its due diligence process and its 18-month partnership with SBF, ultimately concluding that it had been intentionally deceived and lied to. They had to remain silent during the prosecution’s case-building and the trial, but they were relieved that the trial had concluded.
He wrote on X, “Immediately after FTX collapsed, we extensively reviewed our due diligence process and evaluated our 18-month working relationship with SBF. We concluded that we had been deliberately misled and lied to. In the last year, we have had to remain quiet while the prosecution built its case and through the trial period.”
The verdict marks the end of a year-long saga that saw the 31-year-old Bankman-Fried transition from being a billionaire residing in a luxurious Bahamas apartment to becoming a defendant in one of the most significant white-collar crime cases.
After the verdict, lead defense attorney Mark Cohen said, “We respect the jury’s decision. But we are very disappointed with the result. Mr. Bankman Fried maintains his innocence and will continue to fight the charges against him vigorously.”