Sam Bankman-Fried, once a prominent figure in the cryptocurrency industry, has been found guilty on all charges related to the collapse of FTX, his cryptocurrency exchange.
A jury in New York convicted him of orchestrating a multibillion-dollar fraud, marking one of the most significant legal actions in the digital asset space.
Bankman-Fried was convicted on seven counts including fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
This verdict comes after a dramatic downfall of his $32 billion FTX empire, which filed for bankruptcy in November 2022.
Before the collapse, FTX was one of the most prominent exchanges in the crypto market, and Bankman-Fried had become a billionaire, featured on Forbes’ list of the wealthiest individuals.
The case against Bankman-Fried isn’t over yet. He is scheduled for a second trial in March 2024 on additional charges, including paying a bribe to Chinese officials and making illegal political donations in the United States.
The former CEO is expected to remain in jail until his sentencing, and his lawyers have indicated that they will continue to fight the charges.
FTX customers might receive some solace as the exchange is working on a bankruptcy plan that could see them recovering a significant portion of their funds.
The exchange has reportedly retrieved over $7 billion in assets and is pursuing more through legal action against former business partners.
Bankman-Fried’s sentencing is set for March 28, 2024, where the judge will consider various factors, including the nature of the crime and Bankman-Fried’s personal history.
This conviction has rippled through the crypto industry, with markets reacting negatively, though losses have been contained.
The outcome is seen as a moment for the cryptocurrency industry to advance past the scandal and as a stern warning against financial misconduct within the sector.
The verdict was a landmark moment for the crypto world, as it underscored the legal accountability that individuals in this relatively new and volatile industry could face.
Bankman-Fried’s spectacular rise and fall, which included testifying before Congress and a Super Bowl ad, was capped off by this conviction, which carries a maximum sentence of 110 years in prison.