FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Found Guilty of Billions in Fraud
An American jury has found crypto entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried guilty in a massive fraud case involving the embezzlement of billions of dollars. This was done within FTX, a cryptocurrency marketplace he had founded, and the wrongdoing came to light when the company went bankrupt last year. The money he had siphoned away evaporated with the collapse of the company.
During the trial, the prosecutor emphasized that Bankman-Fried had knowingly embezzled funds, fully aware of the wrongdoing. However, he believed he was more clever and competent and thought he could extricate himself from the situation.
Bankman-Fried (31), was considered an emerging tech entrepreneur, mentioned in the same breath as Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. In a year and a half, he went from financial struggles to immense wealth. His FTX had grown to become the second-largest platform for digital currencies, making Bankman-Fried worth more than $20 billion before turning thirty.
Hero to zeroAt the end of last year, it became apparent that Bankman-Fried's empire was built on shaky ground. He had cunningly siphoned off billions of dollars in capital entrusted by investors worldwide to FTX, without any collateral. He had inserted a special code that allowed him to divert up to $65 billion in capital.
As it became clear that investors could no longer withdraw their funds, Bankman-Fried was accused of stealing at least $8 billion. His image transformed from that of an admired entrepreneur to that of a mega-fraudster, akin to Bernie Madoff.
The fraudster himself maintained that he had received poor financial advice and simply hadn't realized what had gone wrong with the fund diversion at FTX. He continued to plead not guilty in court.
During the trial, the jury took only four hours to find Bankman-Fried guilty. He remained silent during the verdict, with his head bowed.
The judge will announce Sam Bankman-Fried's sentence on March 28, which could potentially result in a decades-long prison term, with discussions of up to 110 years behind bars. However, Bankman-Fried immediately stated his intention to challenge the conviction following the jury's decision.