The founder of FTX, Sam Bankman-friedwent to a US court for an initial appearance after being extradited from the Bahamas to face fraud charges, the first step in what could be a lengthy criminal case over the collapse of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange.
The founder of FTX will be extradited this Wednesday to the United States
Sam Bankman-Fried, detained in the Bahamas, is charged with several counts of fraud. The CNBC chain indicated that he already signed the documents for his transfer
At the Manhattan federal court appearance, known as an “arraignment,” Bankman-Fried was not asked to plead guilty, but was asked to post $250 million bail.
Prosecutors accuse him of stealing billions of dollars in funds from FTX clients to cover losses from his hedge fund, Alameda Research. The judge could also decide whether he will grant you bail and, if so, under what conditions.
The FTX founder was transferred to New York in FBI custody to be prosecuted for money laundering
Sam Bankman-Fried could face up to 115 years in prison if convicted on all charges, including massive fraud, while building his cryptocurrency empire.
Bankman-Fried, 30, was arrested last week in the Bahamas, where he lived and where FTX is headquartered. On Wednesday night he left the Caribbean country in FBI custody.
Bankman-Fried arrived just as two of his former associates said they were cooperating with prosecutors.
Sam Bankman-Fried agreed to be extradited to the United States but the process did not advance
Justice requires the co-founder of FTX for millionaire fraud with cryptocurrencies. Court proceedings have suffered a harsh and confusing setback in a Bahamian court with his local lawyer
The revelation that carolina ellison Y gary wang They had pleaded guilty to fraud and were collaborating with federal officials investigating the bankruptcy of the cryptocurrency exchange, which is an ominous sign for Bankman-Fried, who faces an eight-count indictment in New York.
US authorities are conducting a broad investigation into last month’s spectacular collapse of FTX, once one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, and the closely connected trading company Alameda Research. The announcement that Ellison and Wang have pleaded guilty increases the pressure on Bankman-Fried and other executives who have not yet been charged.
“Let me reiterate a call I made last week,” he said in a statement. damian williams, Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “If he committed misconduct at FTX or Alameda, now is the time to move on. We are moving quickly and our patience is not eternal.
Ilan GraffWang’s lawyer said his client “has accepted responsibility for his actions and takes his obligations as a cooperating witness seriously.”
former federal prosecutor Paul Pelletier said guilty pleas are bad news for Bankman-Fried. Pelletier noted that defense attorneys know that cooperative employees quickly get the best deals from prosecutors.
“When prosecutors credibly convey to the public that they are going to reward those who cooperate and go after fraudsters, that is when company executives pay attention,” he said.
Ellison, 28, the daughter of a teacher, pleaded guilty to seven charges. Wang pleaded guilty to four, according to prosecutors. Both were released on bail.
Ellison and Wang’s plea agreements stipulate that prosecutors will recommend reduced sentences if they provide “substantial assistance” to the investigation.
Bankman-Fried was the face of FTX and its extensive business network. He appeared on stages around the world flanked by politicians, celebrities and athletes, promoting FTX and cryptocurrency in general.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which has been investigating the FTX collapse, also sued Wang and Ellison on Wednesday.
Both regulators asserted in separate court briefs that Wang and Ellison were not contesting their liability and had accepted rulings that, among other things, would bar them from trading in securities, commodities or crypto assets, or from serving as directors or managers of a company that did so. manufacture. Financial penalties have not yet been determined.
The SEC alleged that Ellison and Wang engaged in a multi-year scheme to defraud FTX investors. Between 2019 and 2022, Ellison, at the direction of Bankman-Fried, manipulated the price of FTX’s native FTT token by purchasing large quantities on the open market, according to the SEC complaint.
With information from Reuters and Bloomberg
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