A New York jury has found Sam Bankman-Fried guilty of all seven charges of wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering over the collapse of the now-bankrupt FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange he founded and ran.
After a five-week trial, the jury took just over four hours to reach their decision on Thursday, returning their verdict shortly before 7.40pm (EST).
Bankman-Fried sat with his head in hands after the verdict was read, Reuters reported.
“Sam Bankman-Fried perpetrated one of the biggest financial frauds in American history,” US attorney Damian Williams said outside the court after the verdict.
“This kind of fraud, this kind of corruption is as old as time. We have no patience for it.”
The 31-year-old could face decades in jail. His sentencing is set for March 28.
Bankman-Fried had pleaded not guilty to all charges and is expected to appeal the verdict..
His lawyer, Mark Cohen, said in a statement that his client respected the jury’s decision, but maintained his innocence, CoinDesk reported.
“[He] will continue to vigorously fight the charges against him,” Cohen said.
After the verdict was read in Manhattan federal court, Bankman-Fried’s mother, Standord law professor Barbara Fried, “put her head in her hand and stifled tears,” The New York Times reported.
His father, Joseph Bankman, who is also a law professor at Stanford, was in court with Fried.
The $8 billion hole
FTX collapsed in November 2022 after a run on deposits exposed an $8 billion hole in its accounts.
The hole was caused by the lending of customer funds to FTX’s sister hedge fund Alameda Research, prosecutors said.
Those funds were used to pay off Alameda loans, donate to US political campaigns, buy real estate and sports sponsorships, and make investments.
Bankman-Fried told his trial that he had made mistakes in managing his companies but denied deliberately defrauding his customers.
“A lot of people got hurt – customers, employees – and the company ended up in bankruptcy,” Bankman-Fried said in court, Coindesk reported.
“… I made a number of small mistakes and a number of larger mistakes.”