Cryptocurrencies guru Bankman-Fried is guilty: he risks dozens of years in prison

From glory to abyss in just a few months. From guru to head of a billion-dollar empire, to a likely long prison sentence. Sam Bankman-Fried, 31, co-founder of online cryptocurrency trading platform FTX, was found guilty of wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. According to the indictment filed by the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office, the defendant diverted ten billion dollars of clients’ money for other purposes: from donating funds to political parties to covering up the failures of another Bankman-Fried company, Alameda Research, while another money had gone to support the guru’s ultra-luxurious life. The case broke out at the end of last year, when the platform suddenly collapsed and was heading towards bankruptcy.

The guilty verdict came after less than five hours of deliberation by the twelve jurors, nine women and three men, at the end of a trial that took place in New York and lasted a month, less than expected. The value of the penalty will be announced on March 28th of next year. So ruled Judge Lewis Kaplan.

Found guilty on all seven charges, Bankman-Fried faces dozens of years in prison, up to a maximum of a century. His lawyers did not hide his disappointment: «We respect the decision of the jurors-commented lawyer Mark Cohen-but we are very disappointed with the result. Mr. Bankman-Fried believes he is innocent and will continue to vigorously defend himself against the charges.” The lawyers announced an appeal. “The cryptocurrency industry,” said Manhattan District Attorney Damian Williams, “may be new, artists like Sam Bankman-Fried may be new, but this type of fraud is as old as the world.” As the sentence was read, the mother, Barbara Fried, held her head in her hands and began to cry. The father, Joe Bankman , remained impassive. Both were sitting in the front row. Before leaving the courtroom escorted by the police, the son barely had time to look at his parents and shake his head.

Source: IL Tempo