The five-week-long criminal trial of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has finally concluded. Sam Bankman-Fried, who was charged with multiple counts of fraud and criminal conspiracy, has been found guilty of all seven charges against him. The decision was reached after nearly four hours of deliberations by a jury in his criminal trial in New York.
According to the decision, Bankman-Fried has been found guilty of two counts of wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud conspiracy, one count of commodities fraud conspiracy, one count of securities fraud, and one count of money laundering conspiracy. Therefore, he is expected to return to court on March 28, 2024, when New York District Judge Lewis Kaplan will pronounce his final verdict and sentence.
What is Sam Bankman-Fried Looking at?
Government prosecutors will, no doubt, recommend a sentence. However, that is simply all it is: a recommendation. The onus still rests on Judge Kaplan to decide what Bankman’s sentencing would look like.
Meanwhile, each of Bankman’s other crimes carries a maximum prison sentence of between 5 to 20 years. However, wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy all carry a maximum 20-year sentence.
Shortly after the court found Bankman-Fried guilty, New York Southern District US Attorney Damian Williams spoke with the press. The attorney claims that Bankman’s crimes will go down as one of the biggest financial frauds in American history. He also added that the once-popular crypto icon orchestrated “a multibillion-dollar scheme designed to make him the king of crypto.”
Not Going Down without a Fight
While the legal fate of Bankman-Fried appears to be already sealed, his legal team may yet believe in miracles. His attorney Mark Cohen has expressed the team’s disappointment in the jury’s decision. He also issued a part statement:
“Mr. Bankman Fried maintains his innocence and will continue to vigorously fight the charges against him.”
Bankman-Fried had pleaded not guilty to all charges throughout his criminal trial. On several occasions, he attempted to distance himself from key decisions that culminated in the popular November 2022 collapse of the FTX exchange.
Most of the time, Bankman-Fried pointed accusing fingers at other top executives at his firm, trying to shift the blame to them. For instance, he blamed FTX cofounder Gary Wang for creating a function that allowed Alameda to trade funds on FTX that it didn’t have. He also accused Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison of failing to focus on risk management.
Whatever might be the case, it certainly looks like it might be closing time for Bankman-Fried.