One of the key witnesses in the current FTX investigation may be able to avoid all seven counts of the charges against him by reaching a plea bargain.
Under the terms of the agreement, former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison would only be prosecuted for criminal tax offenses and would be eligible for immediate release on bail in the amount of $250,000.
The agreement reached between Ellison and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York to enter into a plea agreement was made public on December 21.
According to the newspaper, the former director of Alameda will not be held accountable for any of the most serious complaints, for which she faced the possibility of receiving a prison sentence of up to 110 years.
Ellison was charged with committing crimes on seven different counts.Two people accused her of participating in and conspiring to conduct wire fraud against FTX customers. They also accused her of perpetrating the scam herself. The seventh count of the indictment against her stated that she was involved in a conspiracy to launder money.
In exchange for Ellison’s cooperation, which consisted of providing full disclosure of all information and documents requested by prosecutors, the Attorney General’s Office agreed not to prosecute Ellison for any of those seven allegations of misconduct in office.
The settlement does not provide Ellison with any protection against further prosecution that he may face from any other authority in the future.It also excludes the possibility of criminal prosecution for tax law violations, even if such offenses were discovered during the course of legal proceedings.
Ellison has consented to the bond restrictions, which include a $250,000 bond, a restriction preventing him from leaving the United States, and the surrender of all travel documents. Federal prosecutors agreed not to oppose Ellison’s release in these circumstances.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, is now in FBI custody and is returning to the United States. Once he arrives, he will be immediately sent to the Southern District of New York to appear in court.