A jury found Sam Bankman-Fried guilty of financial crimes in his monthlong Manhattan trial.
Prosecutors argued Bankman-Fried and co-conspirators funneled money from unknowing FTX customers.
The defense said Bankman-Fried simply didn't know and his executives were to blame.
A jury found Sam Bankman-Fried guilty of seven counts of fraud and conspiracy in his criminal trial in Manhattan federal court after deliberating for about four and a half hours on Thursday.
Bankman-Fried faces up to 110 years in prison for the charges. His sentencing is tentatively scheduled for March 28 of next year.
As the jury read the verdict, Bankman-Fried's mother, Barbara Fried, sat tall while his father, Joe Bankman, hung his head and kept a hand on her shoulder. Fried looked down, her jaw wobbling as if holding back tears, while US District Judge Lewis Kaplan thanked the jurors for their service.
As the jury left and the entire courtroom rose from their seats, his parents, who had been in court throughout the trial, stood and embraced.
Bankman-Fried stood unmoving as his lawyers whispered to him while the courtroom began to empty out following the verdict. His parents held hands at the front of the public gallery, waiting for him to turn around.
He turned back, briefly, as his lawyers escorted him out of the room through a side entrance. He looked at his parents standing in front of a throng of lingering journalists and nodded once.
Fried wiped a tear from her face as Mark Cohen, Bankman-Fried's defense attorney, spoke to her and Bankman in whispers. Afterward, the two stricken parents walked wordlessly from the courtroom.
Bankman-Fried is expected to appeal the verdict.
"We respect the jury's decision. But we are very disappointed with the result," Bankman-Fried's attorney Mark S. Cohen said in a statement. "Mr. Bankman Fried maintains his innocence and will continue to vigorously fight the charges against him."
Prosecutors charged Bankman-Fried with seven counts of financial crimes after his FTX cryptocurrency exchange empire collapsed a year ago — almost to the day.
They say Bankman-Fried and several former members of his executive circle used his hedge fund, Alameda Research, to funnel money from FTX customers to themselves. They spent the money on lavish real estate in the Bahamas and political donations to gain influence in Washington, DC, prosecutors argued.
Charges against Bankman-Fried included wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Jurors agreed he was guilty of two different possible types of money laundering brought in the indictment.
US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement after the verdict that Bankman-Fried "perpetrated one of the biggest financial frauds in American history — a multibillion-dollar scheme designed to make him the King of Crypto.
"But while the cryptocurrency industry might be new and the players like Sam Bankman-Fried might be new, this kind of corruption is as old as time," Williams told a gaggle of cold journalists outside the courthouse. "This case has always been about lying, cheating, and stealing, and we have no patience for it."
Bankman-Fried's defense attorneys argued that the crypto mogul was unaware of how intermingled the funds between FTX and Alameda had become. They also blamed the companies' collapse on poor decision-making by Caroline Ellison, the former co-CEO of Alameda as well as Bankman-Fried's on-and-off girlfriend.
Ellison — along with execs Gary Wang and Nishad Singh — pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy charges and testified against Bankman-Fried at the trial, each emphasizing how they committed crimes at Bankman-Fried's direction. The group all lived and worked together out of a penthouse in the Bahamas, which served as offices for both FTX and Alameda.
A longtime proponent of engaging with the press, Bankman-Fried kept onlookers on their toes over whether he would take the stand in his own defense. Though it was widely considered a bad idea for a defendant to take the stand in such a bombshell case, he did so anyway.
Jurors began deliberating the case shortly after 3 p.m. They said in their first note to the judge that they wanted to stay late, past 8 p.m., to continue deliberating the case, and that they wanted car service home. Kaplan said they would get pizza for dinner.
At about 7:45 p.m., the judge's chief clerk said he received a note that the jury had reached a verdict. Each of them said they found Bankman-Fried guilty of all seven counts.
Bankman-Fried also faces another set of charges related to campaign finance contributions and foreign bribery. A second trial is scheduled for March 11.
Read the original article on Business Insider