The spectacular downfall that shocked the cryptocurrency world is complete after FTX’s founder is found guilty of a huge fraud and faces the prospect of the rest of his life in prison. A Manhattan jury convicted him on all seven counts after a month-long trial.
Bankman-Fried – who pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraud and five of conspiracy – clasped his hands together as the verdict was delivered. He admitted “mistakes” in running FTX when he testified last week, but denied stealing at least $10bn of his customers’ money.
Prosecutors claimed he used the funds for risky bets at his hedge fund Alameda Research – with a huge financial black hole emerging when crypto markets fell sharply. FTX abruptly halted withdrawals last November and crypto’s second-largest exchange – with more than a million customers – went bankrupt.
According to the prosecutor: Bankman-Fried built a “pyramid of deceit” and treated FTX as his own personal piggy bank, defrauding customers out of more than $10bn.
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